Shepherds Keeping Watch Lk 2:8-20

In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock.

The priestly shepherds at Migdal Eder were trained by priests at the Temple in Jerusalem; they had to be familiar with sacrificial laws. They knew scripture, and ministered at the Tower of the Flock in Bethlehem, where lambs had been raised for sacrifice for centuries. The Tower gave them a good vantage point for watching for wild animals, thieves, and anyone else they might need to know was coming. The floor at ground level was where they birthed, protected, and cared for the little lambs. After being wrapped in the swaddling cloths, the little lambs were placed in the clean manger until such time as they became calm and could be turned loosed to find their mamas for feeding. Does it seem unreasonable, then, that God would have sent His Son here to be born, and laid in the ceremonially clean manger? He was, after all, “the Lamb of God” (John 1:36).

Tower of the Flock

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, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.” Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest heaven,and peace on earth to people he favors! When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the manger.

Being familiar with Old Testament prophecy that claimed the Messiah all Israel was waiting for would be born in Bethlehem, and having seen an angel that proclaimed that very thing, they were excited to see for themselves. And they knew just where to go. Jesus was the Sacrificial Lamb, and it was a sign that they would find Jesus, lying in the manger for sacrificial lambs.

After seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had seen and heard, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:8-20 CSB

While Mary rejoiced at God’s miraculous Hand, and her favored position, did she wonder at the fact that God had arranged for Jesus to have a manger for a crib? In a few short days, she will be given another sober glimpse into what the future holds for her and her Son. Did she understand what John the Baptist would one day exclaim concerning Jesus…

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

Taken from December 25, 2014