Yesterday, I asked the question, “Why would He pick them? Of all the people in the world, why would God pick some of the most unlikely to be a part of some of the most amazing news?” If you did not have an opportunity to read that article, click here.
One of the reasons I believe God picked the shepherds was because they were overlooked. I know this may sound like an oxymoron, but consider this with me for a moment. The shepherds were overlooked because of who they were…shepherds. I know there have been many respectable shepherds throughout Jewish history, but at the time of the birth of Jesus, shepherds were anything but respectable. They were looked down upon because of their occupation. Shepherds were considered simple, uneducated and most often poor. They were definitely not the kind of people one would expect God to use to reveal such amazing news.
Not only were they overlooked because of who they were, the shepherd were overlooked because of what they did not have. Remember, a lot of shepherds were poor. Think about a lot of the nativity scenes you see this time of year. Most of them do not even have the shepherds present at the manger. Instead, most nativity scenes have the wise men present with their gifts. The problem with this is the wise men never went to the manger. They went to see Jesus in a house at a later time (Matt. 2:11). If this is the case, then why would a lot of nativity scenes have the wise men at the manger instead of the shepherds? Perhaps the reason is because unlike the wise men, the shepherds had nothing to offer. Jesus was the King of Kings, the expected one who was to come. He deserved the very best people had to offer. Sadly, for those shepherds, they probably had nothing to offer to the great King of Kings.
You see, the shepherds were overlooked because of who they were and what they did not have. And yet, God chose them anyway. Why? Why not choose people of greater importance?
By picking the shepherds God was demonstrating the importance of such people in his plan.
Remember what the angel told the shepherds? “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).
God chose the shepherds to teach us a valuable lesson. God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34-35). We are all the work of His hands (Job. 34:19).
Like the shepherds, there is nothing special about most of us. We are just common, ordinary people who have nothing to offer the King of Kings. And still, we have a place in God’s story. No matter who we are, what we do, or what we have or do not have, we all have a place in the story of the savior. The savior came to bring good news of great joy for ALL people, including people like you and me.
Praise be to God for His decision to choose such unlikely people!
Now that’s Something to Think About!