This Will Be a Sign Unto You…the Ordinary Shepherds Meet the Extraordinary Angels (Luke 2:8-14)

Okay, the President of the United States is coming to visit Youngstown, who do you think will get the message first? He is not going to call me first, no way. Regardless of the importance of the factories, retail establishments and restaurants in town, I don’t think they will get the message first. I would think the message will come through the Mayor’s office down to the Police. I know this because I have been watching a very informative [Very informative, sarcasm] television show called Madam Secretary and that show has taught me all about the process to take place when a powerful person travels. Actually, I am really an expert on this because I watch Tom Selleck in the show Blue Bloods as well. Everywhere the President goes there is a secret service detail and motorcade. Everywhere the Secretary of State goes there are Secret Service and a Motorcade. I think the President of the United States, called P.O.T.U.S. in the show would need to work through the Mayor’s office for his or her visit.
I. Why Jesus came. Let’s not separate His birth in humility from why He did come. This is the extraordinary.

So, why didn’t the King of Kings enter the world that same way? I feel like Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men asking that, but we want the TRUTH. And it may really be that we can’t handle the TRUTH.

But let’s take a brief look at what the Bible says: John 1:14 says that The WORD, being God, took on flesh and came into our neighborhood (The Message). Philippians 2:5-11 says, in summary, that though Jesus was equal with God He became a slave and became a Human. It is because Jesus became a human that He could be our High Priest. He sympathized with us in our weaknesses. But more than sympathize, He took our place when He grew up and went to the cross. Listen to Hebrews 10:11-14 from the Message:
Every priest goes to work at the altar each day, offers the same old sacrifices year in, year out, and never makes a dent in the sin problem. As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process.
II. Now, let’s talk about how Jesus entered the world. This was ordinary.
We would expect that God would enter the world through Rome or through Jerusalem, or how about Alexandria Egypt, which was, after all, the intellectual capital of the world. No that is not how Jesus came.
In Luke 2:1-7 we see Jesus born of a virgin.

Listen to Luke 2:8-15:
There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”
13–14 At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:
Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

This passage is pregnant with content, excuse the pun.
We have angels, we have shepherds, we have worship, we have ordinary and we have extraordinary.
But notice this. The King of Kings is entering the world. The Savior is coming.
Who was the first to get the message? Shepherds are the first to hear about this event. Shepherds were lower class. They were considered dirty and smelly. People did not like them because their sheep would graze on others property. Shepherds were the lowest class. Jesus entered the world like a shepherd. He was wrapped in swaddling clothes and that is how the shepherds would do it. He was SHOCKINGLY laid in a feeding in trough. That is shocking, but I once heard Charles Swindoll say that is how the Shepherds did things. The King does not enter like royalty but identifying with the ordinary or even below the ordinary. Shepherds were ordinary. The local police did not get the message. Herod did not hear about it, nor did the emperor. No, the Shepherds got the message. Furthermore, the Shepherds saw the extraordinary. They say a myriad of angels worshipping, wow! I mean imagine walking your dog at night, or your cat or your squirrel, or your rabbit, anyways, you are out at night and you see an angel. An angel comes with a message and then you see the sky fill up with angels who are worshipping.
Most of the earth went on with our business, it was ordinary. But the angels, they knew what was going on. This was extraordinary.
Christmas is for you. Christmas is for everyone. Jesus came for all. He came to the ordinary. But Jesus came to do the extraordinary. He came to bring life eternal (John 1:1-14).
Walk away tonight with what John Newton wrote:
“Although my memory’s fading, I remember two things very clearly: I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior.”

Confess, Believe, trust, commit: Firmly make the decision to be with Him in order to become like Him and to learn and do all that He says and then arrange your affairs around Him.

pray

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