At the birth of Him who is called the “good shepherd” (John 10;14), shepherds were the first to receive the announcement of His holy birth. (Like 2: 8-16) These were not ordinary shepherds, for it had been prophesied among the Nephites that angels would declare the glad tidings of the Messiah’s birth to “just and holy men.” (Alma 13:26.) These were probably the priesthood holders acting as shepherds in the temple fields.
Their job that night and other nights was
to witness the birth of the lambs! Many gave birth to two lambs and
they needed to know the first born so they could become sacrifical
lambs. They would mark the first born male with a red cord around the
neck. This special night they got to witness the first born son of God –
the Lamb of God.
Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd who leads and watches over his followers. Many prophets compared him to a shepherd. “The Lord is my shepherd.” (Ps. 23:1) “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd.” (Isa. 40:11) “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep…I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” (John 10:11,14)
The special witnesses borne by these shepherds were to be told to family, friends, and neighbors. They were to be told in the courts of the temple, and from there to be told among all nations of the earth. Luke tells us that after the shepherds had seen the “babe lying in a manger, … they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.” (Luke 2:16–17.) Such was the declaration of the angel who stood before them that holy night, that these “good tidings of great joy” should “be to all people.” (Luke 2:10.)
Jesus was witnessed and visited by shepherds – symbolic of him becoming our “Good Shepherd” keeping us safe as he leads us back home! ☺️
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