Christ was born in poverty, lived a life of poverty, and died in poverty; however, He gave us the richest gift we will ever possess–a relationship with Him! Jesus didn’t need man’s stamp of approval, wealth, or power to accomplish His purpose. He became incarnate–not as the son of an earthly king–but as the son of a carpenter. The news of His birth was not shared with the high ranking religious leaders, but rather, with the social outcasts. The Bible says, “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and…said unto them, ‘Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.’” (Luke 2:8-11) Despite the fact that their father, Abraham, had been a shepherd–at the time of Christ, shepherds were so low on the social scale that they were collectively classified as liars and not even allowed to testify in court!
The religious elite had rejected the Shepherd of their heart that David, the shepherd, had written about in Psalms 23. They respected religion, power and money. At the time of Christ’s birth, the religious crowd was so devoid of truth that they could not conceive that The Messiah would come in humility–as prophesied. Thus, the religious and social elite were not on God’s mailing list for the Messiah’s birth announcement. God made His glorious announcement to the lowly shepherds! Jesus’ ministry was to the humble in heart. He said: “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Mark 2:17) He called Himself “The Good Shepherd.” (John 10:11) If we have allowed our heart to become focused upon money, power and social position–we are missing God’s greatest gifts. When our heart is humble, Jesus becomes the Shepherd of our Heart. His love is the greatest gift to our heart!