There is a song entitled, “Shepherd Boy” in which the refrain repeats the phrase, “When others see a shepherd boy, God may see a king.” King David was a lowly shepherd working for his father – not even considered important enough to be included in the line-up of Jesse’s sons when Samuel came to choose God’s replacement for King Saul. But he was God’s choice and from his line God chose to send His only begotten Son to first redeem mankind and in the future to reign from the throne of David. Psalm 23 pays tribute to this lowly segment of society as it parallels the Lord’s attributes to those of a good shepherd.
On the night when Jesus was born God chose to announce His birth to a group of shepherds on the Bethlehem hillside. They were quietly doing their routine job just like any other night when suddenly they were interrupted by an angel with tidings of great joy, preceded by a timely, “Fear not!” What an amazing privilege that they should be the ones to receive the message. As soon as the heavenly hosts faded away into the heavens, they hurried to Bethlehem to see the baby and tell their story. I wonder who had to stay and watch the sheep so others could go? They surely didn’t leave them unattended to wander off. We aren’t told about them but only the ones who went to Bethlehem and saw Him and “made widely known the saying which was told them concerning the child and all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.” These first missionaries were not shy about spreading the word and “glorifying and praising God.” But, I am sure that the faithfulness of those who stayed behind to care for the sheep did not go unnoticed by God. (Luke 2:8-20)
Are you openly sharing what you know about Jesus’ Gospel? Or is your ministry mostly the routine caring for others or facilities, or many other seemingly thankless tasks? Whatever our hands are given to do, if we do it faithfully as unto Him, we will be rewarded as good and faithful servants.
In Matt. 25: 21-23 and Luke 16:10-17 Jesus talks about faithfulness, and in Matt. 25:15-28 he discusses how the use of our God-given talents will be judged. A new meditation on these passages will probably be convicting as well as encouraging. It always is for me. Sometimes you find yourself with newly discovered talents or tasks to employ for Him. Just remember, “Faithful is He who calls you, Who also will do it.” (I Thess. 5:24)