If I were to ask you who was invited to the birth of Jesus, most of you would answer, “Shepherds and wisemen.” I believe that answer is wrong. Only shepherds were invited to the birth. Many scholars believe the wisemen May not have shown up for over a year after His birth. I still believe it’s important that the wisemen came because they showed that Jesus would be the King of Kings. Now think about the manger scene with just shepherds. Interesting.
Why would God only announce the birth of the Savior of the world to shepherds and no one else? Why would the place God prepared for Him to be born be a barn? I believe we can go back to Psalm 23 for that answer. The Lord is my shepherd. God finds that shepherds make great kings. They provide for their flock, they lead them and protect them too. Before Jesus was a carpenter, He was born a shepherd.
When the wisemen went to King Herod looking for where the messiah was born, Matthew 2:6 says they read him, “And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel” (NLT). God knew we would need a shepherd more than a king. While kings rule and dictate, shepherds lead and serve. People were looking for a king to free them from the oppression of the Romans. Instead God sent them a shepherd to free them from their sin.
If you’ve accepted Jesus as king of your life, have you let Him also be your shepherd? Have you given Him not just the ability to rule, but also to lead? Sheep willingly follow where their shepherd leads, but subjects are forced to obey a king. God doesn’t force us to serve Him as a king would. Instead, He invites us to follow Him out of love. I believe shepherds were the only ones invited to His birth to remind us God knew we needed a shepherd more than a king.
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Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.