SHEPHERDS AND SHEEP 2

Lk.2:8 – In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.

It seems like the Lord always chooses to work in the most unexpected ways, using the least likely people. If anyone else would announce the birth of a King surely it would come through proper channels. They would use a king or a famous prophet, never low life shepherds who smelled of sheep and other unsavory things. Now these were not ordinary shepherds at all. These shepherds were raising very particular sheep. These were the sheep who would have to be perfect, without spot or blemish. These sheep were to be used as sacrifices in the temple in Jerusalem. Even though there task was important, they were still just shepherds. Here is how Charles Hutchins explains these sheep and shepherds.

“Shepherds were the lowest of Jewish society. They were not trusted – their testimony not usually permitted in court. If anything was ever stolen, there was an assumption that a shepherd did it. They were like modern-day gypsies, traveling to and fro – for obvious reasons. They were always ceremonially unclean – handling dead animals, assisting in the birth of new ones, dealing with all manner of issues in the wilderness that would cause them to become and remain unclean. Because of the nature of their job, they would not be able to take the time to become clean. Many suggest that God offered to them the first news of the Messiah’s birth because of society’s poor treatment of them. These shepherds were specially trained shepherds who took their jobs seriously. They were in charge of the flock in Bethlehem that supplied the Temple sacrifices. They knew the Law; they understood how important it was for the sacrificial lambs to be spotless and perfect. They would have protected those animals and would have especially made sure that the new-borns were taken care of.”

Think of the amazement of the Shepherds when they began to connect the dots. Their sheep were prophetic sheep, the real One was about to be be born in Bethlehem. This Lamb of God would be a King from the lineage of David. He would also be the messiah. To top it all off, the angel said He would be the Savior of the world. The Shepherds world changed that night, actually everyone’s world changed that night. Everyone else just didn’t know it yet.

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