Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Celebrating Christmas—Shepherds

A few miles away from Bethlehem, shepherds were watching their flocks.  Deemed by the upper classes as men of naught, the shepherds were nevertheless saviors to the sheep.  Besides assisting in the births, they nourished, gathered, comforted, and protected their flocks, sometimes risking their lives to defend them.  There was deep irony in the fact that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, would be deemed by the Pharisees and Sadducees as a man of naught while in the very act of giving His life to save them.

But there is more to this symbolism of shepherd and sheep.  One scholar notes that a tower called Migdal Eder–the watchtower of the flock–stood on the road between Bethlehem and Jerusalem.  The sheep that where gathered there belonged to the temple flock, from which the sacrificial lambs would be taken.  Some Jews believed that the Savior would be born in Bethlehem and revealed at Migdal Eder (Marvin R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament,1:269).

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).   
How fitting that the angelic announcement was made to humble men serving the needs of sheep 
that might die in similitude of the Lamb of God.   
But that has not changed.  
 It is still to those who are feeding His sheep that He reveals Himself.  
 It is to those who serve that the testimony is revealed--the testimony that all 
who are unclean have a Savior 
and can come forth from the darkness of their tombs 
into the Light of Life.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Sherrie. It is so nice in all the hustle and bustle of the Season to stop each day and read your posts. They are so full of insight and love for the Savior, that it brings me right back to where I should be. Thinking of the Savior and everything that his birth has meant to the whole world. Thank you for your hours and hours of study and prayer that have enabled you to write so clearly and help us all understand better. You are a wonderful teacher and wonderful friend. I know this year is complicated by having surgery, but I hope Christmas will be a special time of love and sharing for you and your family.
Cathie xoxoxo

Wendi said...

Amen to Cathie's comment. Thank you and Merry Christmas. :)