The Shepherds of the Christmas story were the Shepherds who came to see Jesus after His birth.
If a child was born into a royal family today, there would be no end to the list of dignitaries who would be expected to visit the family and congratulate them. But when Jesus, the King of kings was born, the only people who even received an announcement were some lowly shepherds who might be compared to field hands today.
Because of the nature of their work, shepherds were often seen as dirty, low-class, uncivilized people in Bible times. Their full-time job, night and day, was to look after their flocks of sheep or goats, leading them to pasture and water and away from danger. At times they even acted as the doorway to their sheep pens by sleeping across the opening.
Kings were often regarded as shepherds over their people, but a king’s life actually had little in common with the rustic, austere life of those who looked after flocks of animals.
Shepherds Who Came to See Jesus after His Birth But it was to such people—and only to such people—that the angels announced Jesus’ birth. The angels appeared to them and told them where they could find the child—and the shepherds responded in faith and went. After they visited Jesus and His family, the shepherds returned to their fields, praising God for all that they had seen and telling everyone they met about it, too (Luke 2).
Thankfully, God’s measure of human worth has little in common with our measure. We tend to value appearance, prestige, wealth, or power, but God does not seem to be swayed by any of these things.
God regarded the presence of some lowly shepherds as fitting honor for the birth of His only Son, the King of kings.