In the countryside there were shepherds, Asher, Zebulun, Justus, Nicodemus, Joseph, Barshabba, and Jose, living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock that night. Asher was somewhat complaining about his lot in life.
â€œIt is hard to believe that our King David started his life as a shepherd boy!â€
Zebulun teased him and said, â€œPerhaps Asher this is just the beginning of a future career for you as King of Israel!â€
The rest howled in laughter and mockingly bowed before Asher.
â€œAnd behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, â€˜Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: you will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.â€™ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: â€˜Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!â€™â€ (Luke 2:9-14)
And just as suddenly they were gone, and it was once again midnight black, the darkness on a moonless night with only the brightness of the stars that were more vivid than the shepherds ever remembered.
After what seemed to be forever, but was only a moment, Justus said to the rest of the shepherds:
â€œLet us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.â€
They readily agreed among one another, â€œYes, let us now go to Bethlehem!â€
â€œAnd they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.â€ (Luke 2:16)
Perhaps these six men (Jose being the youngest had to stay with the flocks) excitedly chatted along the way about what they had just seenâ€¦actual angels from heaven! Or perhaps all that could be heard was the huffing and puffing as the six men hurriedly walked to Bethlehem.
And then they found the babe; He was lying in a manger just as the angel of the Lord had proclaimed. The six men took no notice of the putrid smell of the farm animals around them. They simply marveled at the Baby Jesus. Mary smiled at them knowingly, understanding the significance of her baby.
â€œNow when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.â€ (Luke 2:17-20)
Why shepherds and not the Pharisees or the Sadducees? Why did God send Gabriel to these lowly shepherds to introduce the gospel to man? Perhaps Nicodemus became a great teacher of the law, a Pharisee and ended up meeting Jesus secretly at night to receive the gospel from the God-Man who had seen as a baby. Probably not, but God introduced the good news to these men for a reason.
Even if God had a thousand Billy Grahams to preach the gospel, He has tens of thousands of Joel Osteens preaching from the NTFV Bible (New Touchy Feely Version), burdening the people with the false hope of â€œYour Best Life Nowâ€ instead of the simple liberty found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
â€œSo He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: â€˜The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.â€™ Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, â€˜Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.â€™â€ (Luke 4:16-21)
The Lord put on my heart yesterday to write this little story to show me and you that the purpose of Christmas is not Christmas presents and turkey and ham. Those in and of themselves are not bad, unless they replace the gospel.
Oh but Bro Dave you donâ€™t know my family, if I bring up Christ they get on me about not ruining Christmas with that Jesus stuff.
Then ask them what is Christmas about? If not Jesus then why celebrate it? If weâ€™re going to remove all signs of Jesus then letâ€™s just go ahead and make it Winter Holiday so American consumerism can go merrily along?
GOD USED SHEPHERDS!!!!!!!!! WHO DID NOT HAVE ANY BIBLES OR EVANGELISM CLASSES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Forgive my shouting but God does things with a purpose!
â€œFor you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from Godâ€”and righteousness and sanctification and redemptionâ€”that, as it is written, â€˜He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.â€™â€ (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)
It is Christmas Eve.
Beloved, let us now go to our Christmas parties and dinners, visiting family, and let us bring the gospel.
Let us now go not with â€œa spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.â€
Ridicule only hurts for a moment.
Familial silence only lasts for a season.
Eternity lasts forever.
It is Christmas Eve.
Are you looking for that last minute gift idea?
Let us now go and give them Jesus.
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Copyright Â© 2009 David Jeffers