Why in Bethlehem, to Shepherds?
Sermon on the Birth of Jesus
INTRODUCTION: Luke 2:8-14
1. On the night of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, an angel appeared and called on mankind to rejoice.
2. Then the hosts of Heaven appeared and glorified God and pronounced peace and goodwill to the inhabitants of planet Earth.
3. The announcement was not made in Rome or Jerusalem or even in the East among wise men.
4. It was made exclusively to the lowly; to shepherds in the field.
5. It makes one wonder, WHY? Why, in the wisdom of God was this announcement made near Bethlehem, to shepherds?
DISCUSSION: Let’s begin with the obvious.
I. BETHLEHEM IS THE CITY OF DAVID.
1. There is no one person in the Old Testament more associated with the Messiah
1) 2 Samuel 7:16, “Thy throne shall be established forever.”
2) Jeremiah 23:5, “I will raise unto David a righteous branch and a king shall reign and prosper.”
3) Micah 5:2, “Thou Bethlehem Ephratah.” Chief priests and scribes agreed, Matthew 2:6.
2. It is very likely that David, a shepherd of Bethlehem kept his father’s sheep in those same fields.
II. STILL, WHY DID GOD PROPHESY THE BIRTH OF JESUS IN BETHLEHEM?
1. Jerusalem is only 6 miles north of Bethlehem.
2. How much sense would Rome have made for making it known?
3. God didn’t want it that well known at this point. (Herod)
4. Here’s my main point.
1) By making the announcement to the poor of Judean pastures the poor could NEVER be marginalized in Christianity. The rich were not even present at its heavenly announcement.
2) This is an announcement from the very first that Salvation Full and Free is available to…
a. Unclean Judean shepherds.
b. The conquered and enslaved of the Roman Empire.
c. The untouchables of India.
d. The native peoples of the South Pacific and the remote jungles and rain forests of Africa and South America.
e. The slaves of our recent past.
f. Our children, should America fall.
3) Anyone who knows the story of Jesus can know this simple truth: Salvation is not something just for the rich to claim. Anyone can say, IT CAN BE MINE!!!
1. Indeed, Glory to God in the Highest.
2. Follow His Son