“So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that 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.’ And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:15-16 NKJV)
How fitting that the shepherds should be among the first to visit the newborn Savior. After all, He was one of them. In John 10:11 Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd.” We can find other parallels between the lowly shepherds and the Good Shepherd as well.
A shepherd cares for a flock or flocks of sheep. He knows them so well he can call them by name. Jesus called His followers His flock. He said “I am the Good Shepherd; and I know My sheep.” (John 10:14a and John 21:15-17 NKJV).
A shepherd leads his sheep to water, for they cannot live without water. Like the beastly sheep, we of Jesus’ flock need water. Jesus gives us a different kind of water. He gives us Living Water. “On the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rives of living water.’ But He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive.” (John 7:37-39 NKJV).
Sheep have a tendency to stray and risk being attacked by wolves or bears. The shepherd sometimes risks his life to save them. Jesus not only risked His life for His sheep (His followers), but He died for us. Isaiah 53:6 says: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one, to his own way…” Like the sheep, we too can get ourselves into trouble when we turn away from God. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 6:23 NKJV) and “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23 NKJV).
Like the lowly shepherds, the Good Shepherd (Jesus), is not willing to let the “wolves” (Satan) attack us. He willingly gave His life to save us from the penalty of sin. “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, NKJV). Glory to God!
That shout of praise brings us back to the stable when Jesus was born. “Then the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen as it was told them.” (Luke 2:20 NKJV).
I’m not sure the beastly sheep glorified the Savior, but the shepherd’s did. Shouldn’t we, as Jesus’ loving flock, do the same, especially during this Christmas season?
Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus, our Good Shepherd. Like the shepherds of old, we bow before Him and glorify His name. Amen.