As I read through the story in Luke of Jesus’ and John’s births, a couple of things stood out to me. The book of Luke was written by, well, a doctor named Luke. He was not an eyewitness to Jesus’ life and stories. He got them from somewhere else. Most historians believe Luke interviewed Mary, Jesus’ mom, and got most of his info from her. In a sense, if that’s true, this is Mary’s version of the story.
So, when we read Luke, we see a lot of things through Mary’s eyes that aren’t in the other Gospels, or at least not seen in the same way. Reading it today, it stood out to me about how God made it known about Jesus’ birth. He sent an angel to Mary; alone. He sent an angel to Zechariah, her uncle; alone. Mary and Elizabeth speak these beautiful songs to each other, inspired by God, but they are alone when it happens. Simeon and Anna, the prophets in the Temple, only speak to Mary and Joseph. Think about it. Here God has sent His Son into the world, to rule and be King. He is there to save everyone. History is split in half with His birth. The world is being pulled out of complete chaos and destruction. It is the single biggest event in history. The King of all kings is here.
No press release.
He only speaks to the parents, in order to encourage them for what they will face raising Jesus.
The world changes, and no one knows.
Well, no one, except for one group.
There is this huge press release, fanfare, big hoo-haa moment. The angels show up in a group, appear at night and glow in the dark, and amaze everyone with their royal proclamation. But they don’t show up to the Roman Emperor, the religious leaders in Jerusalem, or on a high place in front of thousands.
They show up to shepherds.
What a waste for God to spend His one big show on a bunch of nobodies like them. Shepherds were the bottom of the pile. They were dirty, smelly, and loners. They lived out in the woods by themselves with a bunch of dumb sheep for company. It was a bottom feeder job in the world.
And God appeared to them with the big fanfare. Remember, He could have sent one angel to one shepherd, like He did to Mary, Joseph, and Zechariah. A junior angel at that. But He didn’t. He sent a huge group, and they had choreographed dance moves and everything. Even their wording is this official sounding, royal announcement. And God wasted it on the shepherds.
He still does. He loves saving his very best for losers, for nobodies, for the bottom of the barrel. When people are down and out, God moves up and in to their lives. He loves the people on the bottom. The broken, the wasted efforts, the ones who don’t amount to anything. He loves them.
He loves us.
Be encouraged over the coming days. God sends His best messages and gifts to those who least deserve it.
Which means you and I are in for some things this week.