The angels came from glory to announce the birth of Christ, but why did they appear to shepherds? Their testimony did not even count in a court of law. What would it have been like to hear the shepherds tell their story? Though we do not know what they said precisely, it might have sounded something like this:
There we were, in the middle of a pasture, and all the sheep were sleeping. Then, suddenly, the sheep began to stir. At first, we did not know what was happening. Then we saw the angels. We were terrified, but they told us not to fear because they came with “good tidings of great joy. Born this day in the city of David was a child who is Christ the Lord.” The long-awaited Messiah.
For thousands of years, the prophets have prophesied his coming, but I find it amazing that, when it happened, the angels came to tell us: shepherds. Why would God announce it to us? We are not the priests or the holy ones of Israel. Most people despise us and see us as unclean and not worth anything. The only thing I can think is that the Messiah is willing to save anyone, even those like myself, the unclean ones not fit to enter the house of the Lord. The Savior was born today, and he sent his angels to tell us—the weary ones looking for rest!
What is most humbling is what the prophet Isaiah foretold. He said the Messiah would be “wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our sins: and it will be by his stripes that we will be healed.” Some of the sheep we tend are given to the temple as a sacrifice for sin; is that what is being foretold about this child? I am not sure what all this means, but to think the little child I just saw is the one who has come to redeem His people, even people like myself, only makes me love him more.
As wonderous as the angels from the realms of glory were, they cannot compare to the baby in the manger, for he is the reason those realms are glorious, and he has come to sinners and sufferers. His name is Jesus, and He will save His people from their sins. Maybe that is why when I saw him, all I could do was bow down in joyful worship. Some people may only see a child, but I see my Savior and my King.
Make sure you tell everyone. He is here; the Messiah has come.
And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. – Luke 2:18