In 1865 an Englishman by the name of William Chatterton Dix penned a poem he called the Manger throne. A few years later the first three stanzas of that poem were set to the English folk tune Greensleeves and it become the popular Christmas Carol we know as What child is this?…One of my favorites because it tells the story
It is a question the shepherds must have asked that night and people are still asking today…many have no idea who He really is we need to be able to tell them who he really is not based on popular culture but on God’s word….We will talk about this from different perspectives of observers today we start with the shepherds
The story begins
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
Why was the story of the shepherds so important for us?
For many reasons
- Shepherds were the common working class people of the day
- They weren’t the most stellar of people neither the wealthiest, poorest, brightest or the most challenged, the most religious nor the least religious… they were just people
- Mostly because they were shepherds and He was a shepherd to his people
John 10:11 – 15
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My sheep and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so, I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
He came to the shepherds because he is a good shepherd…
The world needs to understand He is not a God to stands off and lets things happen like a shepherd with the sheep He is involved in our lives…Jesus came in the line of another great shepherd
David was the shepherd King
Samuel was sent by God to anoint a son of Jesse as the new King of Israel after Saul had fallen out of favor with God. Jesse called all the sons that looked like they were king material but none of them were then in 1 Samuel 16: 11-13
And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.”
And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” 12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.
Scripture tells us David remained a shepherd for all of the time he was in direct service of Saul
Why like Jesus was it important that he be a shepherd King
David tells us the role of the shepherd in Psalm 23…Jesus’ role still in the world today
The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
Jesus is the good shepherd who provides all of our needs.
– we can be at peace never worrying about will we have enough, know enough, have wisdom enough as our shepherd he provides all we need
Psalm 23: 2
He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams.
He brings us and keeps us in places of peace and rest knowing that he is our protector…we don’t need to worry about what the future holds because the future is in His hands
3 He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
– As our good shepherd, he makes sure that we have what we need to grow stronger every day…remember sheep can be lead but they must choose to eat
– As our shepherd, He through the Holy Spirit will always guide us on the right path for life and in truth. Not always the easiest path but the right path for us
4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
We live in a very scary time in the world. Drugs, war, terrorism, all kinds of divisions in families and communities. Jesus is still the Prince of peace and the government is still on His shoulders and he will protect and comfort all along the way if we will allow him
What child is this? He is the good shepherd who
5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.
The good shepherd did this at what we call communion he placed a table between us and the enemy by his body and blood. He sent the anointing for us because he went away in Acts 2:4 He has given us the power as the good shepherd to be in His presence always
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
As our shepherd we have a relationship with him that stands against anything
He came to shepherds because he was the good shepherd
What child is this? He is what the world needs now
– bringer of peace and rest
– guide in life and truth
– filler of anointing
– eternal relationship that from His perspective never changes
do you know all this today?
Do you believe it for you today? Is there an attribute of who Christ is that you especially need today? Let us pray for you and let us show you!