Becoming changed men
The story of the shepherds contained within the Gospel account according to Luke is a story that is often missed. It was the story of the first evangelistic outreach in history. It wasn’t through some learned scholars of theology, or some great teachers, noblemen or persons of great importance. God chose to use the simplicity and humbleness of shepherds, the caretakers of animals, perhaps the lowest in social standards, to reveal the most startling event in human history.
Jesus’ birth was surrounded by many phenomenal events. The Apostle Luke captured one of those events as he wrote of the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night: “And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them…” (Luke 2:9).
These shepherds were no less amazed than you or I would have been. Certainly, they were not accustomed to having an angel of the Lord appear to them while they were out among the sheep. The bible shows us that rather than discussing this most startling phenomenon…they proceeded to act upon what had been told to them.
The story makes it clear that the angels’ revelation to the shepherd was not to keep the the event quiet, but to take the message to all people. “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people,” (Luke 2:10).
Today some of God’s people would need not only an angel of the Lord to appear and a spotlight from heaven to shine down upon them, but an earthquake beneath them to get them moving! These shepherds did not stop to analyze the validity of the situation, or to call in investigative reporters to check out the phenomenon…they began to act upon the command of the Lord. After all, this was a message from God.
The shepherds’ story tells us what they did:
They sought out the Savior: “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which has come to pass…” (Luke 2:15).
They proclaimed the Savior: “And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child,” (Luke 2:17).
They were changed men: “And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them,” (Luke 2:20).
As a result of that one special night, those shepherds would never be the same again! They had seen the salvation of the Lord. When they returned to their jobs and families they were changed men.
If we will seek Him, we will find Him! When we find Him, we will want to proclaim Him! As we proclaim Him, we become changed men!
“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened,” (Luke 11:10).