It was just like every other day, the shepherds had been out grazing the flock just outside of the town of Bethlehem as the activities of the day began to wind down, they gathered their flock to a restful patch to sleep. We are not told their names or how many shepherds they were. These shepherds owned these sheep and they would stay awake to protect and guard their flock. They were ordinary men of no significant or influence in the society.


They gathered together and took their positions as usual. The night was silent, then suddenly an angel appeared to them.

But the angel said to them, “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.”

Another extra-ordinary thing occurred, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, singing praises to God on high.

I have read of accounts in the scriptures when angels gave messages to people, but to see a host of heavenly being singing praises to God in the highest after delivering a message, this is a first.

67afc92a50a4873c30721e78f80e03a8These were ordinary men but they were quick to believe what the angel told them, better still they were not passive with the message of the angel but active.

The shepherds conversed amongst themselves and said lets us go to Bethlehem and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord had made known to them.

They had received a message, they believed it, and acted on their belief. They went to look for theirs and the world’s Messiah.


A baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. What a contrast. The Messiah of the whole world, the long awaited promised saviour has been born. God the son has taken on the form of mankind and he was born in a stable. Not in a stately richly house with all the comforts of riches nor was He born in the home of the priest. He was not even born in a house. But he who made the world was laid in a manger at birth. A manger a trough or open box in a stable designed to hold feed or fodder for livestock.


It doesn’t matter where you were born, what matters is fulfilling the purpose of your birth.

As they got to the stable, the shepherds saw Joseph, Mary and the Messiah in the manger just like the angel had said. They shared their experience with them. They could not keep this wonderful news to themselves, so they went out carefully telling this good news to others.

As I read this story, I wonder what the recipients of the shepherds’ news did after they hear that the long awaited and prayed for Messiah had been born.  Unfortunately they did not go to find their Messiah in the manger, just like the priest and the teachers of the law who directed the wise men to where Jesus was to be born did not go to the Messiah either.

These ordinary shepherds whose names we were not told, heard the angel’s message, believed it and acted upon it.

Normally angels deliver their message and they disappear, but for these ordinary shepherds, they got an angel visitation and also had the privilege of hearing heavenly host sing. They were the first Jews to receive the message that Jesus had been born.

You may be just ordinary you, but know this. We are not out of the way of divine visits when we are sensibly employed in an honest calling and abide with God in it. – Matthew Henry.

We may be ordinary like the shepherds, and like the shepherds we should believe God’s message to us. We should not be passive about it but active.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. May this Christmas bring you and yours glad tidings.


  • My meditations on Luke 2
  • The Holy Bible (NIV)
  • Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged