BUSINESS AS USUAL BECOMES UNUSUAL BUSINESS
December 22, 2002
INTRODUCTION: The first announcement of the Messiah's
birth was given by an angel to some anonymous
shepherds. Why shepherds? Why not to priests or
scribes? By visiting the shepherds, the angel
revealed the grace of God toward mankind. Shepherds
were really outcasts in Israel. Their work not only
made them unclean, but it kept them away from the
temple for weeks at a time so that they could not be
Shepherds' honesty and integrity was so questionable
that they were not allowed to testify in a court of
law in those days. Maybe we are all once again
reminded that God does not call the rich and mighty;
He calls the poor and the humble. (1 Cor. 1:26-29).
The Messiah came to be both the Good Shepherd (John
10) and the Lamb of God sacrificed for the sins of the
world (John 1:29). Perhaps those shepherds were
caring for the flocks that would provide sacrifices
for the temple services. It was fitting that the good
news about God's Shepherd and Lamb be given first to
Shepherds are not easily fooled. They are practical
men of the world who have little to do with fantasy.
If they said that they saw angels and went and found
the Messiah, then you could believe them. God
selected hardworking men to be the first witnesses
that his Son had come into the world.
I. THE WORK OF THE SHEPHERDS. 8
Bethlehem was only 5 miles from Jerusalem and many of
the sheep used in the temple sacrifices came from
there. The announcement made to them was the coming
of God's Lamb who would end the need for theirs.
Not only were the shepherds told of a Lamb, they were
also told of a Shepherd.
1. GOOD SHEPHERD.
John 10:11, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd
gives His life for the sheep."
Speaks of the substitutionary death of Jesus for
sinners on the cross.
2. GREAT SHEPH ...
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