Christmas: The King Has Come

Devotional

The Shepherds: Witness . . .

Read today's verse.

Have you ever witnessed some-thing so amazing that “you just had to be there” to appreciate it? Perhaps you witnessed an unbelievable sight and, as you explained it to your friends, you found that you simply weren’t doing it justice. Imagine the shepherds trying to explain what they witnessed in the sky that night in Bethlehem!

As we read this fantastic and supernatural event the shepherds witnessed, we probably try to imagine it in our minds. But guess what? Whatever you’re imagining, the real deal was likely infinitely more awe-inspiring and captivating! An angel of the Lord appeared, declared the Messiah had arrived, and then suddenly an army of angels filled the sky to proclaim the glory of God!

The collective skill of Hollywood is incapable of capturing the majesty of this moment. One minute, these shepherds are resting in the fields with their flock as they did every other night, and the next. . . their world was rocked forever!

This first announcement of the King’s arrival cannot be overlooked. The shepherds weren’t simply the closest people the angels could find. As with everything else God does, there was a perfect and beautiful purpose behind this divine appointment.

Based on what is known about the culture and world of the first century A.D., we know that a great deal of the sheep raised in Bethlehem were eventually sent to Jerusalem for temple sacrifice. The irony of it all is nothing short of amazing! Think about it . . . the birth of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world was announced to men whose job was to prepare the sacrifices that would be offered on the altar at the temple in Jerusalem.

In addition, shepherds in this era were considered social outcasts, unclean from their continual exposure to the animals. They were not men of position, wealth, or power; they certainly never had the honor of meeting kings. But they were precisely the kind of people Jesus found Himself in the presence of during His ministry, whom He sought and gave hope and purpose to! And on that night, they got to meet the true King.

Consider for a moment all the amazing things you’ve witnessed God do in your life and the lives of others. Christmas is about miracles, both big and small! But the big question is what will you do with this knowledge? What will you do with all that you’ve witnessed?

For The Kids: Jesus Is The Reason We Celebrate!

If you had a big announcement, you might call a television station or put it on Facebook or Instagram. When God had the biggest announcement in the world, He had His angels announce it to the shepherds—people who were not very respected. During the time of the Bible, not many wanted their job because it was hard work and smelly—kind of like being a garbage man today.

The shepherds got to see Jesus when He was first born laying in the manger with His proud mom and dad, Mary and Joseph, beside him. The Bible says the shepherds went away and told everyone they could about what they had just seen—the King was born! Christmas is about miracles, both big and small, and Jesus is the reason we celebrate! What miracles from God have you witnessed lately?

Today's Challenge

Record in your journal all of the amazing things you’ve witnessed God do in your life in 2014.