The Christmas Story or the Nativity Story is about the birth of Jesus, our Redeemer and God. The birth of Jesus Christ changed everything about people’s lives, and His presence continues to transform our lives with peace, joy, and love.
Christmas Story — The Nativity Story
The Birth of Jesus and the Bethlehem Shepherds
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:14
The most intriguing question: why the shepherds were the first to receive the good news of the birth of Christ?
The Shepherds of Bethlehem first received the good news of salvation — not the royalty, not the government officials, not the wealthy people, not the learned men — just because they were the ultimate outsiders. There are three reasons why they become an important part of the Christmas story.
First, the shepherds signify the image of the broad and deep nature of God’s love. During the times of Christ, shepherds stood on the bottom rung of the social ladder. They were not respected by society and shared the same undesirable status as tax collectors and sweepers. Marginalized by society, they were officially labeled as “sinners” by the religious leaders.
This incident evidences God’s offer of salvation to everyone, transcending all barriers. Jesus says that He did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance. The shepherds who were shunned by the religious elite were the first evangelists of the Gospel. Remember that Jesus came to this Earth to save sinners like you and me.
Second, shepherds foreshadowed the Savior’s role as the Good Shepherd. Shepherds always keep one eye open for predators sneaking up on their gullible sheep. They would go to any length to protect their flock, which sometimes may turn fatal. God’s eternal plan was that Jesus would give His life for us, just as the shepherds would have done for their sheep. The angels announced the birth of Christ to those who symbolized this mission.
Third, God despises proud people and exalts the humble. The religious leaders were proud, arrogant, smug, and full of prejudice, while the shepherds were coarse and unlearned men. The Pharisees, Sadducees, and the priestly leadership thought highly of themselves and loved religious laws and traditions more than they loved God. They probably would not have been very excited and overwhelmed if God chose to reveal the great secret to them. They would have thought that they deserved to hear the extraordinary news first. When shepherds heard the good news, they were amazed, humbled, exuberant, and filled with joy. They felt honored that they were chosen to hear and share the glad news of the birth of Christ.
This Christmas story about the birth of Jesus is found in the gospel of Luke in the Bible. The Christmas story reminds us of the love and the plan of salvation that God has for us. The first Christmas story (or the nativity story) about the birth of Jesus Christ helps us learn about the uniqueness and goodness of the birth of Jesus. We should celebrate the birth of Jesus throughout the year in our hearts and minds.