HomeWord - Dec. 5, 2008

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A Look at the Shepherds
This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt

When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:17-20

Having heard the angel’s pronouncement concerning Jesus’ birth, and having heard the heavenly army praising God, the shepherds left their fields and flocks to find Jesus. They wanted to see for themselves.

After they had seen Jesus, they didn’t keep the amazing circumstances to themselves. As the Gospel of Luke records, “they spread the word.” Then, they returned to their fields and flocks, glorifying and praising God.

No further description is provided about these shepherds in the Scriptures regarding how their lives were impacted by what they had heard and seen. But, it’s easy to imagine that they were never quite the same. It’s not difficult to believe that they kept telling the story to anyone willing to listen.

Today, we’re not much different than the shepherds were. We, like them, have the opportunity to encounter Jesus. We, like them, can be changed by the encounter. We, like them, can share the Good News about Jesus wherever our journeys take us. We, like them, can praise and glorify God. And we, like them, can return to our responsibilities and stations in life and keep telling others about the King of Kings.

As we celebrate Christmas, may we choose not to keep the Good News of Jesus a secret, but out of thanksgiving for what God has done for us and in us, let’s praise and glorify God, and share the Good News with whomever is willing to listen.

Going Deeper: 

  1. Could you imagine it possible that your belief in Jesus might be traced back to a Shepherd who went to Bethlehem, saw Jesus and told others about he experienced? Why or why not? 
  2. What do you find hardest about telling others the Good News of Jesus? 
  3. How would you choose to live differently today if you were convinced that your belief in Jesus might influence someone who will live two thousand years from now to also believe? 

Family Time: On a clear and starry night before Christmas, rally the troops for a little field trip. Find a safe, outdoor spot where you can clearly enjoy seeing the stars. Ask everyone to imagine a night like this 2,000 years ago. Then, ask everyone what they think it might have been like to have the quiet shattered by light and angels pronouncing the birth of Jesus. Then, use the content above to have a discussion about the shepherds.

Jim Liebelt is Senior Editor of Publications at HomeWord.

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