Luke 2:7: And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2:8: And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
Luke 2:9: And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
We have all heard these verses before. Linus quoted them in the Charlie Brown Christmas special many years ago. They are so familiar to us that they are easily over looked. First we see that it is night. Why was it night? The answer is simple, before Christ came the world was in darkness.
John 8:12: Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Second let’s examine the shepherds. Symbolically what are shepherds? Let’s find out.
Jeremiah 23:1: Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.
Here we see pastors over the sheep.
Jeremiah 23:2: Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.
Now I want you to note the stark difference between these pastors and the shepherds in the fields when Christ was born. Those shepherds were tending to the sheep.
Jeremiah 23:3: And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
Jeremiah 23:4: And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.
What will the shepherds do that God will be happy with? They shall feed them.
Jeremiah 23:5: Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
Hmm sounds about like Christ doesn’t it? Let’s go back to those shepherds in the dark.
Luke 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
There is the righteous branch.
Luke 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
Luke 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luk3 2:15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
These shepherds care.
Luke 2:16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
Luke 2:17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
What did they do? They made it known. They feed the people.
Luke 2:18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
Again told by who? The shepherds.
Luke 2:19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
These shepherds tended their flocks even in the night. Before Christ the world was in darkness and with his birth the shepherds no longer had to tend their flocks by night.