Welcome to the Kerwin Baptist Church broadcast today. Welcome to the Kerwin Baptist Church broadcast today. Just imagine if you can for these shepherds who really had a life that was just kind of mostly around sheep.
Not around people. We're going to talk about this in just a minute. And here they are, an angel appears, gives them this message. And the Bible says they were already afraid of that. But can you imagine as the angel is given this message and then you get to this point in verse 13, the Bible says that literally, suddenly, there was with him the angel a multitude of the heavenly host.
You say, well, how many is that? I don't think it was all of them, or it would have said all of the heavenly host, but a multitude is a great number. That means you're already shocked, afraid, whatever the case is, that this angel is speaking to you, and then all of a sudden, in an instant, there's a multitude of the heavenly host. Imagine if you and I could just this morning see the heavenly host that are in this building. It would change us forever.
We would never, ever again feel alone. And these shepherds were given a glimpse of the numbers of heavenly host in heaven. They're all at God's beck and call.
And you think that God can't help you pay that bill. Hmm, look at verse 14. This is what they were all saying. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them in the heaven, the shepherds said one to another, let us now go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing which has come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us, and they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the babe lying in a manger, and when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child, and all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds, but Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart, which Mary did a lot, by the way, that's another whole story. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen as it was told unto them. Lord, we need your help today. We certainly strive to rightfully divide your word. Lord, bless us this morning as we look at some shepherds that needed a shepherd, and Lord, I thank you for being my shepherd. Thank you for being the great shepherd. Lord, I pray you'd help us as we look in your word this morning in Jesus' name we pray, amen.
Let's briefly look at these shepherds as they call it, and let's see some things that maybe we could learn today if you're not already aware. Number one, and I like to, outlining helps me to understand a passage. Us men, you know, the Bible teaches in areas that men and women kind of think different and see things different, have different needs, and we're not gonna get into all the marriage stuff this morning, but us men like to compartmentalize.
Maybe that's why I like to outline. I think it would make it easier during the day of my life if my wife would just outline what she wants me to do. If she could just illiterate it, you know, like clean garage, go to the store, you know, something like that so that I could understand and break down. Women speak in code, and you have to kind of, you can't listen to what they say.
You have to figure out what they're really, I'm not gonna get into all that this morning. But I, I need to give an invitation right now. Lord, I pray that you would. That's why that the angel appeared unto shepherds, not unto ladies, because they would have, they would have asked a thousand questions. It would have taken them five hours to get there, to stop at all the stores, you know. I think I lost everybody, didn't I?
I'm never gonna get it back. Let's look at the shepherds, since I have alienated everybody in the building. First, I want you to see, number one, they were lowly in reputation.
Lowly in reputation. Now, we all know this now, and there's been a lot of information over the past years, is that, especially now that we have social media and internet and things, that information can get out to more. When we certainly understand, people kind of romanticize the shepherds coming in. But we know that these were basically outcasts of society. That these shepherds were rough people, and they weren't really very well liked or accepted from what we would call mainstream society in these days. And there's a reason for that.
And I want to explain today to you why. Because of their profession. Because that they literally, 24-7, had to watch these sheep, and where they would herd these sheep were not in the city limits.
They would be a few miles outside of the city. But because of this, they were, as shepherds, unable to attend what was a ritual called the Orthodox ritual of washings every year. And it meant this, that they couldn't come and be ceremonially washed of their sins and different things.
It was a ritual. But these shepherds, because of what they did, they couldn't just take a couple weeks and go do this and travel. They had to take care of sheep and different things. So because they were not able to be, according to tradition, Orthodox tradition, because they weren't able to be washed, literally people saw them as unclean. And so these shepherds were considered unclean. Also, because of their profession, they were not able to be tutored in the law. And just about everybody went through different things to be tutored about that.
Obviously, we know that the law was big and different things. But shepherds were not able to be tutored in the law. They literally, when generations would shepherd and they didn't have a lot of contact with city people and education people and different things. So not only were they considered unclean, second, they were considered unlearned. And that's why they were kind of an outcast in society.
But third, because they really had no roots in the community. If they had family, family was with them. They really didn't marry amongst people in the city. It was just their own lifestyle. They kept to themselves. They basically were away from society because of what they did. And so third, they were considered unwanted. So literally, the reason that they were outcast is because they were considered unclean people, a little bit sketchy. They were considered literally unlearned.
And they were considered kind of unwanted because they really had no connection with anybody in town or in these families. May I remind you of something this morning? Why did Jesus have it all laid out? Why did the angels come and declare literally first, besides obviously Mary and Joseph and things, why would an angel come and give this message to people like the shepherds? Because may I remind you today, we were unclean. Bible says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We were unclean. May I remind you today that we were unlearned.
Bible says in Romans chapter 10, verse three, listen to this, for they being ignorant of God's righteousness. That's what we were before we got saved. We were literally unclean. We were unlearned.
And third, we were unwanted. Say, preacher, what do you mean? Let me read this verse to you in Ephesians chapter two. But now in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. Why did this message come to these shepherds? Because these shepherds represented you and me without Christ.
They were lowly in reputation. Let me show you this verse before I move on to the next point. It's on the screen here for you. Luke chapter five, verse 30. Listen to this. But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples saying, why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners, outcasts of society? And Jesus answering said unto them, they that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. Oh, this message came to the shepherds because we are the shepherds.
And yet the blood of Christ has been given to us just like it was given to the shepherds. I want you to know the second thing about them. They were laboring in the fields. They weren't just lowly in reputation. These were hard working individuals. You'll notice in verse eight, the Bible says they were in the same country, shepherds abiding in the field. Their work didn't, they didn't go eight to five and go home. They lived in their work. They did their work 24 hours a day. Bible says in verse eight that they were keeping watch over their flock by night.
It literally, these sheep needed to be watched day and they had to be watched night. This was not an easy lifestyle. It was a difficult lifestyle.
They didn't really have a cush job and they weren't really, you know, they didn't get vacations and got to go to the beach, you know, a couple weeks a year or anything like that. This was full time and before I go any further, it's amazing how God seems to always speak to those who are working. You get the busiest, most involved people in church and that seems to be who God continuously lays things on their heart to do more. Sometimes as a pastor and I've seen pastors over the years that they have individuals that just begin to get more and more involved in church and in ministry and they keep working and serving and it seems that eventually they get called out to be in ministry or to go do something even more and I've heard pastors literally say, I don't understand, why did God continue to call them? They were doing so many things here. Why didn't God call somebody that wasn't doing these things?
Exactly. God always seems to speak to those that are the workers. But something interesting here, you would say they were laboring in the fields.
There's always a question, where were these fields at? The Bible says they were in the same country, that's about all we know. But I do wanna give you an interesting theory and some of you might be aware of this, some of you might not but it just, I like to look at God's word and I like to think and imagine and you say, well, what if you imagine something that that's just not accurate? Well, I don't try to preach stuff that I'm just imagining. I try to preach the Bible. But I'm gonna tell you all you can imagine, heaven's gonna be greater than that.
But I want you to think about this. The Bible says that they were keeping watch, it was in the same country, it was a field and we know that literally that they hurried to get there. So it was semi close. We think it would be somewhere within 10 miles of Bethlehem here that where these shepherds field were for them to be able to get there while he was still wrapped in these swaddling clothes while he was still there in the manger. And what's interesting here, the shepherds who were abiding by their flocks that night in the fields, they were perhaps and it is more likely than you would think but it's just a theory the Bible doesn't tell us these details and we don't have to but I just want you to think about God's word.
I want it to come alive with you a little bit. They might have been watching over what were called temple sheep. You see they would have been close to Bethlehem because they were watching over these sheep that people would purchase to sacrifice at the temple. And these sheep had to be a certain way. They couldn't have any broken bones. They couldn't have any flaws. They had to be pure and it means it's not just growing did they have to look right but these shepherds had to protect these sheep from what they could end up doing to themselves because if a lamb or something broke his foot or his leg or something like that, they don't really have feet but you know what I'm saying, broke his leg or something that they couldn't be used for the sacrifice at the temple and they wouldn't be worth as much but there is literally a tower right outside of Bethlehem about five and a half miles away that is spoken of in the Bible.
And I just wanna, this is morning, take a time out. I just want us to think and imagine of all the things when we get to heaven, we're gonna be told so many things. We're gonna spend an eternity learning about Jesus Christ, learning about things in this Bible but the shepherds that we're talking about here may have been men who were literally accustomed to preparing sheep for sacrifice. They might have been men that their job was to prepare lambs for sacrifice and could it be that God came to the exact men who would literally present to the world the last sacrifice for sins?
You say, well, that's kind of a lot. Well, this tower outside of Bethlehem about five and a half miles away is called Migdal Edor. It's Migdal and then E-D-E-R. You say, well, why would you think that and these details aren't given.
Who cares about these details? Well, I wanna give you some verses this morning. Give you a little bit of prophecy just so you can think a little bit. Genesis chapter 35 verse 19, this is on the screen.
I want you to notice this. And Rachel died and was buried in the way to Ephrath which is Bethlehem. Who's Rachel? Rachel was Jacob's wife. Obviously, Jesus came from the lineage of Jacob. Notice this and Jacob set a pillar upon her grave. That is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day. And Israel or Jacob journeyed and spread his tent beyond the tower of Edor which is in the Hebrew here, Migdal Edor.
So here Jacob right here at this tower set up tent. Micah chapter four verse eight. I think it's verse six or verse eight. In that day, saith the Lord, I will assemble her that halteth and I will gather her that is driven out.
Who are we talking about here? The Jewish people. And her that I have afflicted and I will make her that halted a remnant and her that was cast far off a strong nation. This is the promise that the Messiah would return. And the Lord shall reign over them in the Mount Zion, Jerusalem from henceforth even forever. And thou, oh, tower of the flock. Guess what that word is in the Hebrew?
Migdal Edor. Oh, tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion unto thee shall it come. Even the first dominion, the first dominion. Jesus when he came was Lord. But he will come back to rule and reign, to have dominion over the earth. The kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem. The daughter of Jerusalem, who is that? Bethlehem, Bethlehem. Micah chapter five verse two, last one. But thou, Bethlehem Ephrata, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting. Therefore will he give them up until the time that she which travaileth Mary, speaking of not only the Jewish people, but of Mary, hath brought forth.
She would give birth and bring forth Jesus. Then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. Now I know this is just a thought and a theory, but just want you to think, it could be that literally as the angel came to those shepherds that night, that those shepherds were watching the sheep and the temple sheep were kept under that tower, that Migdal Edor, and wouldn't it be amazing that literally were years before Jacob had set up through the lineage of Jesus Christ. And here Jesus is born in Bethlehem. And can I tell you, in Bethlehem, inns or motels, they didn't have those back then.
It would literally be people's homes or farms that they would open up and provide rooms for people. And do you know who had a farm in Bethlehem? David. Then David, the Bible says, gave that farm to one of the men that was one of his right hand men, and years later, right there in Bethlehem, it could be that literally Jesus was born in literally property that was owned by David out of his line, and literally these shepherds could have been camped out right there while these men were watching the lambs for sacrifice. They were told about the lamb who would be the last sacrifice of sin. I don't know. We'll find out when we get to heaven.
But it's interesting, isn't it? I want you to see number three about these shepherds. They were listening to the heavenly message. They were lowly in reputation.
They were laboring in the fields. But I want you to notice, thirdly, they were listening to the heavenly message. Look at verse 10, if you would. And the angel said unto them, fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord, and this shall be a sign unto you.
You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. They were listening to the heavenly message. Now, before I go any further, what was the heavenly message? You say, well, preacher, we're just told exactly what the angel said. But let's think about what the angel, the message that the angel gave them.
Notice, if you would, first he said fear not. That means there's hope coming. I give you a message from God's word today. There's hope. There is no end that we cannot control. Jesus died, and now you don't have to fear death.
You can enjoy life. Notice what he said second. He said good tidings. He said I bring you good tidings.
Can I, do you mind me telling you something interesting again here? This word good tidings, do you know what that word is in the Hebrew? It's euagilizo.
Let me explain, let me spell it for you. E-U-A-G-G-E-L-I-Z-O, euagilizo. You go to the New Testament. And in the book of Romans, of course, all through the New Testament, when it says that we will proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. Do you know what that word gospel is?
It is the word euagilizo. Literally, when the angel said I bring you good tidings, he said I bring you the gospel. Jesus is the gospel. Good tidings is good news. It's the gospel.
He's there. Everything the gospel is is wrapped up in that baby. What's the automatic reaction when you hear the good tidings?
Notice the third part of the message. Great joy. I bring you good tidings which produce great joy. Some of us need to be reminded of that today.
Ready to do my Elvis right there on that. I didn't know what was going on. Great joy. Unfortunately, we that know Christ walk around with little joy. But because we know the good news, we should have great joy.
Notice the next part of his message. He uses these two words, all people. I bring you good tidings of great joy.
Well, that's great, but we're just a bunch of shepherds. Who is this particularly to? It says, which shall be to all people. It means no matter who you are, what you are, what race, what religion, whatever, he's come for you.
Let's get a little more personal. What does the next part of it say? Which shall be unto all people, for unto who?
You. Unto you. It means as you and I read this Christmas story at Christmas time every year, and I know we're familiar with it, but as we read it, it's literally you could put your name right there, because whoever you are, Jesus came to you. He didn't just come for all, he came for you. Notice this last, of course we know where I'm going with this, a savior. A savior. A savior. Not just a ruler, not just a king, not just the boss. The king of kings and lord of lords is described here, Jesus Christ, as a savior.
That term itself means that you and I are the object of affection. Look at me, once you get this, if I'm a savior, then that means that I get nothing for that, but whoever I save, or whoever I am the savior for, gets the benefit. So the fact that the angel looks at these shepherds and says that this is a savior means this, he's gonna get nothing out of this, you're gonna get everything.
A savior. What a wonderful message, huh? Can I ask you something, when was the last time the glory of the lord showed up in your field? How long since you listened for a message from God? How long since God had your attention? What's interesting about these shepherds is the angel showed up to them, you know why?
Because they would listen. Amen. Has it been a while since you've heard from God? Has it been a while since you've had a powerful, powerful experience with the lord?
May I say this, that you and I oftentimes are so busy watching our field that we don't hear or see what is above us. May I say next that these men were looking for the savior. The bible says that after the angel gave them this message, and I love this, this is one of my favorite parts about it. Look at verse 15, and it came to pass as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, let's think about this.
The bible doesn't say that. As soon as they heard the message that a savior would be born, notice in verse 15, they look at each other and say, let us now go. They heard, and there was immediate obedience.
If this is true, and we believe it is, we wanna see it. They were looking for the savior. May I say it wasn't easy that night to find Jesus. It wasn't like that there was literally a post light put on top of this stable or wherever he was.
It wasn't like there was a blinking sign here, here, here, here. These shepherds were a ways away, and the bible says that they made haste, they got everything together, probably left their sheep right there in the fields, and they took off to Bethlehem, and all they knew is that he was there, and all they knew is that he was gonna be a savior, and all they knew is that what had been prophesied, we have just been told that this was going to come true, so they went looking for him. You say, and this is what spurred the question somebody asked me, isn't it amazing the humility of Jesus being born in a manger, and it is amazingly humble. But may I say why Jesus was born in that manger? One of the reasons is this, as the angel proclaimed the message to these shepherds who were literally unclean, unlearned, and unwanted. If Jesus would have been born in a palace, or even someone's very nice home, those shepherds would not have been allowed to get near him. Jesus had to die where anyone could approach him. May I say today, it doesn't matter what you've done, and the mistakes you've made in your past, and the sins you've committed, may I say that Jesus humbled himself. The Bible says he came as a servant. Even though he was king of kings, he came as a servant.
Why? So that any of us can approach him. We couldn't approach God, he's a holy God, so Jesus came and died so that we could approach Jesus. And when you and I approach Jesus, now we can approach God the Father through his blood. They were looking for a savior. Are you looking for a savior?
May I say this? You say, well preacher, I'm saved. Well, have you been looking for Jesus this week? It's a good question, isn't it? I mean, do we literally wake up looking for Jesus throughout our day?
It's not like he's hiding behind a store somewhere. I mean, in everyday life, the things that happen, the people that come across our path, as God begins to arrange the circumstances of our life, do we ever stop and say, Jesus, whatever you're doing, do it, whatever you want me to do, I'll do it. Where are you, what do you want me to do? Looking for him.
Usually you and I are looking for what we want, looking for our desires, looking for our plan to work out. But these shepherds even left their flocks because Jesus was top priority. Thank you for listening today. We hope you received a blessing from our broadcast. The Kirtland Baptist Church is located at 4520 Old Hollow Road in Kernersville, North Carolina. You may also contact us by phone at 336-993-5192 or via the web at kirtlandbaptistchurch.com. Enjoy our services live and all our media on our website and church app. Thank you for listening to the Kerwin broadcast today. God bless you. We'll see you next time.
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