Text: Luke 2:1-20; John 1:14; Isaiah 9:6
Prop: a baby doll or poster of Nativity scene
Summary: The lowly shepherds heard the birth announcement of Jesus first. The Shepherd of the world was born in a lowly stable and is an example for us to be humble. The good news is for all people.
Look what I brought with me today. [a baby doll] We will celebrate Christmas soon. Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus. We have this holiday on December 25th, but we are not certain this was the actual day Jesus was born. The Christian, Roman emperor Constantine decided on this day in 325 AD to replace the pagan holiday of Saturnalia.
The Apostle John hints that the birth may have been in the fall (Sept.-Oct.) near the Jewish feast of tabernacles by his words in John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us… It most likely was not in the middle of winter because the shepherds were abiding in the field. In late December, it would be too cold to spend the night outside in a field.
What is more important is that God chose to come into the world as a baby, and how humbly he did it. Now humble is a word that means gentle, and not putting on a big show of importance.
Actually, the fact that Jesus was born was the most important news in the world. It deserved to be told to the most important people in the world: the kings and emperors. But is this who heard the news first? No! God sent his angel to lowly shepherds tending to flocks of sheep. Shepherds were not viewed by others as being important at all. They had a very humble job. This is why God made it clear that the good news was for all people, even the very poorest people.
(Read Luke 2:8-14) The shepherds were told of Jesus’ birth first. This was not the birth of any ordinary child. This baby was the Son of God. Was he born in a palace and wrapped in fine silk clothing? No! There was not even room at the inn. He was born in a lowly stable where animals slept. His only bed was the straw in the feeding trough (a manger). He had small strips of cloth wrapped around him, not a warm pair of baby diapers. His family wasn’t rich, but lived modestly. The Savior of the world entered the world in a humble fashion as an example for us to be humble. As Isaiah 9:6 says Unto us a child is born… The Prince of Peace.
The shepherds hurried to Bethlehem and found the manger where Jesus lay. Then they returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen… As you ponder the meaning of Christmas this year, be sure to thank God for sending us his Son Jesus, and giving us an example of being humble. It doesn’t matter if there is no room at the inn, as long as there is room in your heart.
©1998 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.