Luke 2:12 (ESV) … “And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
Luke continues to describe the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. After announcing the birth in Bethlehem, he tells us about shepherds who were watching their ﬂock nearby. Isn’t it fascinating that when God chose to announce the birth of the Messiah to the world, he didn’t inform the rich and powerful leaders of the day? Instead he chose to announce it to shepherds who were tending their ﬂocks nearby. In all probability, the sheep they were tending were the ones that were to be used in the temple sacrifices.
The shepherds of Palestine were considered to be the lowest class of people. The nature of their calling prohibited them from frequent participation in the religious rituals of their day, and there were discriminating practices against them with respect to the law courts, for a shepherd was not permitted to give testimony. They were considered to be so unscrupulous and untrustworthy that their testimony was of little value. But although their contemporary society hated them, it seems that they held a special place in the heart of God.
The shepherds speak to anyone who may feel to lowly to be loved of God. God loves everyone and this is beyond question, but God loves especially those for whom the world has turned its acceptance against. Those the world rejects God calls and loves. When Christ came, His life more than identified with those who were lowly and rejected by this world. What a heart our God has for those who need it most!