MONDAY, DECEMBER 2
“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. “And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Luke 2:8-11 (ESV)
FEAR NOT: THE SHEPHERD’S REPUTATION
Two shepherds lean on their crooks at the end of a long day and the first asks the second, “So, how’s it going?” The second one sighed and shook his head, “Not good, I can’t pay my bills, my health isn’t good, my kids don’t respect me, and my wife is leaving me.” The first replied, “Well, don’t lose any sheep over it.”
In the days of Jesus’ birth, shepherds had a poor reputation. According to the Bible Almanac, “Shepherds were distrusted in Jesus’ day, as being a wild bunch.” Author James Boice said “This rural nomadic folk were a despised class in the 1st century. Also, they were considered unreliable and therefore were not even allowed to give testimony in the law courts.” And according to the Egyptians, “Every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians.” (Gen.46:34)
Yet, God chooses to announce the birth of Jesus to this group of shepherds. Yesterday, Mike shared with us one of the reasons the shepherds were afraid when the angels appeared was because they wondered if they were good enough for God. It’s understandable why they might be afraid when the angels were surrounded by the glory of God. All of our reputations pale in comparison to God’s reputation. But God chose them just like He has chosen us. In what ways do you feel like your reputation creates fear about facing God? How do you think the birth of Jesus changed that?