If you had an incredibly important message that you needed to share with the world, how would you go about it? My guess is that you would start with the most credible, powerful, influential, and well-connected people you could find, right? Well, that’s not at all what God did. He did not start with the “influencers” of the world, but with just the opposite. God chose shepherds (Luke 2:15-20): lowly, uneducated, irrelevant shepherds. God chose the most ordinary, humble, lowly, outcast group he could find. Which shouldn’t be surprising at all since God seems to always start with the fringe, rather than the popular crowd. I wonder why?
Maybe he chose shepherds because they were the most open and willing and eager ones he could find. Maybe because they would be the ones most likely to drop everything—including the sheep—at a moment’s notice and leave it all behind, in order hurry off and find the Newborn King. I mean, Herod would not even leave the palace, right?
Maybe God chose the shepherds because he knew they would not get in the way of what he was trying to do; they were to ones least likely to try and hijack, manipulate, control, or profit from what God was up to. They had no agenda, no need to make an impact, no need to try and spin it or use it for their own gain.
Maybe the reason God chose shepherds was because they were the ones who were the most free: free to receive, free to respond, free to share the news in a way that it was not about them, but about God. And that’s exactly what they did. They found their friends and their families and their co-workers—not exactly the who’s who of Bethlehem—and told them exactly what they had seen and heard. And the people were amazed. God had entered human history in the most random, unassuming, covert way possible, and these would be the perfect ones to tell the world about it.