keskiviikko 27. huhtikuuta 2016
At that time, sheep farmers were seen as low or little value by other people. The sheep that they bred would have probably been used as sacrifice animals in the temple in near-by Jerusalem.
Being curious as to what the angels meant, they went down into Bethlehem, maybe leaving a shepherd or two behind to keep guard on the sheep. The shepherds probably found Joseph, Mary and Jesus with the help of local women, running errands in the busy town, that had heard of the birth of a new baby. When they had found and told Mary and Joseph what had happened to them, it says that 'The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.' The people they told probably weren't just the people they saw on the way back to hills, but friends and relatives in Bethlehem and Jerusalem and the people they met in the temple when they took their sheep to be sold.
And an angel of the Lord stood by them [He stood upon the earth at their side, and did not float above them in the heavens, as he is usually pictured. His standing upon the earth shows a fuller fellowship and sympathy with men--comp.
We can trust that God had a specific purpose for this shepherd audience, and the work they performed suggests the reason. These men who watched the sheep meant for the slaughter received a divine message about the ultimate Lamb who would take away the sins of the world through His death and resurrection.
The lack of money precludes no one from spiritual privileges. The things of God's kingdom are often hidden from the great and noble and revealed to the poor. The busy labor of the hands need not prevent someone from being favored with special visit from God. Moses was keeping sheep, Gideon was threshing wheat, Elisha was ploughing, when they were each honored by direct calls and revelations from God. Let us resist the suggestion of Satan that religion is not for the working man. The weak of the world are often called before the mighty. The last are often first, and the first last.
God chose a stable so no innkeeper could boast, "He chose the comfort of my inn!" God chose a manger so that no wood worker could boast, "He chose the craftsmanship of my bed!"
The number of shepherds shown varies also, though three is typical in the West; one or more dogs may be included