Why would God choose to reveal the Good News through a bunch of shepherds?
It is interesting to consider that the shepherding business is very similar to the leadership business. The sign that a leader is acting as a good shepherd is - 1) A shepherd searches for the separated, so do leaders; 2) A shepherd provides assistance to those that are stuck, so do leaders; 3) A shepherd takes the sheep to places for feeding, leaders create an environment where the entire well-being is addressed; 4) A shepherd knows when to push and to rest the sheep; leaders provide a rhythm to life that brings harmony between work and play.
Was the call to the shepherds in the field outside of Bethlehem to say to the people - Wake up, the day of a new shepherd has arrived, it takes a shepherd to recognize a shepherd? Ezekiel spoke about this day when he condemned the shepherds of his day, “You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost” (Ezekiel 34:4). The prophet Ezekiel has been called upon by God to make a proclamation against the shepherds of Israel and Judah. He is to point out how they have abandoned their responsibilities as shepherds. Ezekiel is also to remind the people that while they have been abused and misused by their shepherds, they too are accountable for their actions towards one another. The in-fighting and discrimination is not acceptable and there will be a time of accountability for this as well. Finally, Ezekiel provides the word of hope and promise. There is a day coming when the people will receive a proper shepherd. He will protect and care for the people. And the angel said to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Are you ready to receive the Good Shepherd into your life today? Do you have confidence in Jesus as your leader? Are you prepared to be called into the shepherding business? I will tell you that is what it means to be a Christian.