Day 25 - The Kingdom Revealed
“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 so afraid. 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. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased.’” --Luke 2:8-14
Throughout the Bible, God used the shepherd as an important symbol to represent parts of His character. David, one of Israel’s first kings who we studied earlier, grew up as a shepherd defending his flock from predators, and Jesus often used this image to both tell of His desire to care for the lost souls in the world (Luke 15:4-7), and to also point to His kingship in the prophecy told of the King coming in David’s lineage to set the world free from sin (see day 8 of this study).
Shepherds also represent a very humble quality. Their lives are spent either alone with their flock or with a few other shepherds. They defend their sheep with their lives and suffer greatly just to survive doing what they do, so it is quite telling of who God is for Him to celebrate this moment with some shepherds. Shepherds are God’s people...they’re the ones He wanted to call up late at night with the news that His Son had been born.
This is an important element of who God is: He does not care about worldly status. Over and over in Jesus’s life, He reminds those listening that the last in the world will be first in heaven (Matthew 11:25-30), and that the kingdom of heaven belongs to the least among mankind (Matthew 5:3). God has use for those of us who don’t see ourselves as necessarily useful, and God gives purpose to those of use who don’t necessarily see ourselves as purposeful.
Read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. How does this help clarify some of these considerations?