Hi friends, we will be continuing our study of the gospels, which includes all four accounts of Jesus’ life in a single narrative. I have provided a link to a document in the description below, so that you can follow along. Last time, we covered Matthew 1:1-17. Today, we will be focusing on Luke 2:8-20. Deb will read the passage for us, and then we will dive into our discussion.
(Click here to get a copy of the Gospel Sync document)
Scripture – Luke 2.8-20
And there were shepherds residing in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks by night. Just then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! For behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord! And this will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a great multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests!”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the Baby, who was lying in the manger.
After they had seen the Child, they spread the message they had received about Him. And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, which was just as it had been told them.
Today’s key discipleship lesson is to not be surprised at who God uses, as we can learn from the passage we just read. Let’s take a closer look at Luke 2:15-17, where we see the shepherds as the first messengers of the Gospel. After the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” They went and found Mary, Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger… After seeing the child, they spread the message they had received about him.
This may be surprising to some, because in Jewish society, shepherds were considered to be on the lowest rung of society. They spent their days and nights tending to sheep, and as a result, they even smelled like sheep. However, we shouldn’t be surprised that God chose to use shepherds to spread his message. Throughout scripture, we see that God uses all kinds of people to spread his fame, glory, and message.
For example, in John 4:1-42, God used a woman with a questionable past to reach an entire village, and in Mark 5:1-20, God used a man possessed by thousands of demons to reach ten cities. Even the Apostle Paul, who was a murderer and blasphemer, was used by God to spread the gospel throughout the Roman Empire, as mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:13.
Therefore, we should not be surprised by who God chooses to spread his good news, as he can use anyone who is willing to be used by him.
As a child, I was introduced to Jesus and I had a deep affection for him. However, my trust in Jesus began to deteriorate as my family faced challenging circumstances. My mother abandoned my father and my three brothers when I was eight years old. My father, who served in the Army, struggled to take care of us, and we ended up bouncing in and out of Children’s Homes throughout our childhood.
One day, while in a Children’s Home, I found a framed picture of Jesus, which I placed next to my bed. I prayed every day, asking God to take us out of the Children’s Home. Eventually, my father promised that he would take us out by the end of the summer. We eagerly anticipated our departure from the home, but my father broke his promise. I was so angry and frustrated that I marched upstairs, looked at the picture of Jesus, and kicked Him right in the face, shattered glass flew everywhere.
A few years later, while serving in the Army, I heard the gospel, repented, and began to follow Jesus. I was surprised that God would use someone like me – an orphan with a lot of anger who had kicked Jesus in the face – to spread his message of love and salvation. But looking back, we should not be surprised at who God uses to spread his message, regardless of their past.
Now it’s time to put our plans into action. First, we need to ask ourselves: are we the ones choosing who to disciple, or is God leading us to specific people? As disciple makers, are we reminding those we disciple not to be surprised at who Jesus chooses to use? Lastly, we should ask ourselves if we truly believe that God can use anyone, even those we may doubt or think are insignificant. That one-eyed, three-legged lamb that you may be shepherding might just become a mighty warrior that spreads the message of Jesus far and wide.
That’s all the time we have for today. Remember, until next time, keep making disciples for Jesus!
Link to the Gospel Sync G-Doc: Click here