Yes I Will Take God At His Word.
In His life, Jesus called Himself “the Good Shepherd,” who takes care of His flock. Us. He takes care of us because He loves us, because that is exactly what He came to this world to do: to bring us into His flock. What a beautiful picture of how to love one another; but Jesus is not the only good shepherd that we can learn from.
After Jesus was born, who were the first responders to His birth? The shepherds. Though they were tending their flock when the angel came to announce the Messiah’s birth, they left their precious flock (their livelihood) behind when something more important came up.
“Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby…
The response of the shepherds to Jesus is immediate and enthusiastic. Once the angels finish singing their chorus, the shepherds are off. Not only do they abandon their work, leave their sheep in the fields (there is no indication in the text that time passed between the angels singing and the shepherds leaving), they hurry. These shepherds ran to go see this child. Jesus came into the world, and the shepherds chased after Him.
These shepherds had the right idea. They knew what was worth finding (Jesus), and what was worth leaving (the sheep).
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen…
Praise is often found on the other side of faith-filled action. When we take God at His word and “strain forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13) we position ourselves to bear witness to that which inspires worship.
The shepherds could have easily stayed put. Instead, they went and found Jesus. Once they found Jesus, they could not help but praise God. Though they went back to their flocks, returned to their daily duties and responsibilities, they were changed. The nights keeping watch over their flocks were now filled with praises, like those of the angels.
They did not even know His name, and yet they “glorified and praised God” for Him.
In verse 21, when the shepherds’ tale is over, Luke tells us that the next day is when the baby was circumcised and given His name, Jesus. They did not even know His name, and yet they went to Bethlehem to see the child. They did not even know His name, and yet they hurried to find Him. They did not even know His name, and yet they “glorified and praised God” for Him.
We who know not only know His name, but His Spirit, will we not leave behind our daily routines and consider the significance of who He is?