Shepherds were outcasts, considered subhuman lowlifes. Not welcome in town, they lived and slept out in the fields with the animals. According to the American Journal of Biblical Theology, “…because of their vocation, shepherds were considered unclean and could not take part in temple worship without ritual cleansing. They were despised by the people, considered untrustworthy, and unable to testify in a court of law.” Interesting it was shepherds to whom God initially announced the birth of Jesus.
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:8-11)
People who could not readily enter the Temple were chosen by God to receive His most important message. He chose people considered despicable and untrustworthy, unable to testify in court to be His first witnesses.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. (Luke 2:20)
Those marginalized and rejected by society were the very ones God chose! But why? Why not chose people more respected and trusted? The answer is contained in verse 10 above. One little word; can you see it?
It’s the word, “all.” The good news of great joy would be for all the people. Why all the people. Because all the people mattered to God. He loved all the people. He sent His Son as a gift to all the people.
Even you. You matter to God. This good news is for you.
To slightly change what Tiny Tim said, “God blessed us, every one!”