23rd December 2014

The Shepherds at Jesus’ Birth

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them…”
Luke 2:8-9 (NIV)

On the day of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago, an amazing thing happened. God revealed the birth of his Son to shepherds who were minding their sheep nearby.

Have you ever wondered why God would reveal this most important of events in history to lowly shepherds, and not to the local dignitaries?

Shepherds at this time were considered amongst the lowest and most despised of people in the social order…they were like pariahs in their own country! But God in his infinite love for the despised showed amazing grace to these shepherds, and they responded by hurrying to see the new born Jesus. Verse 15 goes on to say, “When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’”

The shepherds returned to their work praising and glorifying God for all they had seen and heard (verse 20). Just as God extended grace to these poor, unworthy shepherds, so likewise he extends grace freely to all mankind today through his now glorified Son, Jesus.  As it says in Titus 2:11, “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.”

God of grace, thank you that you are not a respecter of persons, but extend grace to all people.

Study by John Magowan


johnmagowanAbout the Author:
John Magowan is a member of the Pastoral Council at Grace Community Church, Lisburn, Northern Ireland.
Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Lisburn
Ballymacbrennan School Hall
129A Saintfield Road
BT27 5PG

Meeting time:
Sunday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
Phone: 07764336760
Email:  bobbeggs@hotmail.com