by Stephen F. Olford
Text: "The shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us'" (Luke 2:15; read vv. 8-20)
Thoughts: The shepherds were considered common people and were despised by the orthodox Jews of the day. Yet it was to such individuals that the angel of the Lord appeared with the "good tidings of great joy" (v. 10) concerning the birth of "a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (v. 11). Having heard the angelic announcement, the shepherds went in search of the Savior.
They Ascertained the Facts Concerning the Christ. "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us" (v. 15). The heavenly news of this tremendous event was so astonishing and carried such far-reaching consequences, that these shepherds determined to go at once to search out the facts. We read that "they came with haste" (v. 16).
They Accepted the Findings Concerning Christ. "They . . . found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger" (v.16). The witness of Mary was centered in the supernatural and sinless birth of Jesus. The message of Joseph was of the Son born to save His people from their sins. The story of the Babe was that of God contracting to the measure of a woman's womb to be born in time and space. Those shepherds, kneeling by the manger, accepted their findings and believed.
They Announced the Faith Concerning Christ. "They made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this" (v. 17). Having seen the newborn King, the shepherds could not keep the news to themselves; they had to share it with others who "marveled at those things which were told them" (v. 18). The message of Christmas is the gospel of great joy to all people. Let us go and "tell it in the mountains"!
As the shepherds sought the Child,
In that manger long ago,
Let us likewise seek the Christ,
With true faith and love aglow.