Have you ever wondered why the shepherds were the first to visit baby Jesus? The usual interpretations are: the shepherds were marginalized and poor, and God wants to uplift them; or that in God’s economy the last will be the first; or God wants to teach us about humbleness and obedience. All these are great interpretations. Can we possibly add another interpretation?
When you look at the passage again on Luke 2, you can focus on two words — shepherds and sheep. The two are connected. Shepherds are there for the sheep. And when the sheep gives birth, the first in the scene is most probably the shepherd. Now let us connect the shepherds and the birth of Jesus Christ. What’s the connection? Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God, the ultimate sacrifice for our salvation was born, and the first to arrive in the scene are the shepherds.
To make it even more amazing is that in the time of the second Temple, the Bible tells us that the sacrificial lambs offered in the Temple were only breed and taken cared of in one place, a place near the Temple. And that place is Bethlehem. Jesus was born in Bethlehem as prophesied by Micah, city of David and the place where the sacrificial lambs are born.
The purpose of the Messiah was already there since the beginning. In the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, the prophecy was fulfilled and ultimately, it tells us that Jesus was born to give Himself — to be the Sacrificial Lamb, the Savior of the world.
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on
December 11, 2017