Bible Society of South Africa

Shephaers visit Jesus – 5 December 2022

By Carina Francke

Bible text(s)

11This very day in David's town your Saviour was born — Christ the Lord!

Have you ever camped out under the pitch-black night sky? There are no stars or bright, shiny moon in sight. You can almost not see your hand in front of you or worse, you must stay awake because you hear how wild animals bellow out their own conversations, because of strangers in their space.

On the night of Jesus’ birth, shepherds were tending to their sheep in the open field. “By chance”, it was near the stable where Jesus was born. By chance? No! With God present, every second and event are intentional – nothing is left to chance. The pitch dark of that night was suddenly brightened by the presence of an angel with them, as well as the glory of the Lord that shone around them.

Why this visual revelation by an angel? It not only confirmed the holy and undisputed godly involvement, but also addressed the human lacking in faith. The shepherds should have no doubt when the angel announces “the good news of immense joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10).

I suspect the shepherds could not wait to hear the heart of the message and to see the baby themselves. Their curiosity is satisfied: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:11-12). God confirms this truth when, suddenly, there was, with the first angel, a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”(Luke 2:13-14). The shepherds went to Bethlehem immediately to find Mary, Joseph and the child. Yes, exactly as the angel had said!

Deeply touched by the truth that they witnessed and experienced, they did the first thing new believers usually do – they told others about Jesus, the gift of grace from God’s hand. As with people whose paths crossed Jesus’ path, these shepherds’ return journey changed into praises to God for all they had heard, seen and experienced.

Do you understand the dynamics here? No person who believes in Christ Jesus, the Son of God, will be denied living in his presence. Irrespective of status, possessions or decent.

Prayer: Our heavenly Father, thank you that you show no partiality, but in every nation, anyone who fears you and does what is right is acceptable to you, may become part of the multitude of believers who believe in Christ the Lord (Acts 10:34-35). Yes, truly the Light has come! Thank you! Amen

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