“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them” (Lk. 2:8-9, ESV). The first Christmas was so important that God sent several angels to announce it.
If you were an information officer, how would you announce the most important event of Jesus’ birth?
You may call the high priest first, because he is the “archbishop” of the religious establishment. You would contact the “Jewish Bishops Conference of Israel,” because they are very influential. You would email all the scribes, Pharisees, priests, and religious leaders of Jewish society. You might meet with the governor of Judea and the mayor and vice-mayor of Jerusalem.
But the angel of the Lord bypassed the VIPs in Jerusalem. Instead, he appeared to the VUPs (Very Unimportant Persons)—the shepherds. The reason is that Jesus came for the poor and the powerless, and the humble and the oppressed. Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Lk. 4:18-19, ESV).
The shepherds fit this category. They were the poor and helpless. They were humble and uneducated. They represent the insignificant, unreliable, unsavory outcasts of society. Thus, they were the first to receive the good news.
Are you a VUP? Are you poor and powerless, and meek and oppressed? Are you considered insignificant, unpleasant, and unimportant in society today? Then you are important to God! You are the first person listed in Jesus’ itinerary! He came for wretched sinners who are poor in spirit. He came for the helpless and the exploited. The good news of Jesus’ birth is for people like you.
The Christ is born. Jesus has come down to earth. He died on the cross for your sins. Have you come to Jesus?