The shepherds, who were expecting nothing, who were “just common joes”, who were minding their business, were energized to check out the fantastic report,
…for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11)
Now, they were Jews. Their common language was most likely Aramaic, but they understood Hebrew. So, the term “Christ” proclaimed by the Angel came out “Messiah”. They were most likely not punctilious Jews, as were the Pharisees. But they, too, were waiting the coming Messiah. They expected that the Messiah would deliver them from the oppression of Rome and establish a Judean kingdom that would last forever.
They were so excited that they abandoned their flocks to go, immediately, in the night to see the sight of the new-born Messiah.
What they saw was a baby. They told Mary and Joseph about the annunciation by the Angels. No, none else had seen or heard the Angels, although they must have made a great show and a tremendous noise when a multitude of them shouted “Glory to God!” Mary and Joseph believed them and the shepherds believed that the baby was the Messiah.
I am impressed: they were so convinced that this baby, Jesus, was the Messiah after beholding the Christ child.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, even as it was spoken unto them. (Luke 2:20)
Just being in the child’s Presence convinced them down to their toes. They became the first Evangelists. They shouted and laughed, sang and danced through the village on their way back to the sheep.
Their noise awoke the village, causing heads to peer out windows and doors to discover what the night-time commotion was all about.
To every inquiry, they proclaimed the declaration of the Angel,
Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people: for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this is the sign unto you: Ye shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger. (Luke 22:10-12)
They further told of the verification of the multitude of angels singing to God,
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased.’ (Luke 22:14
I am impressed (but not surprised) that the fantastic news did not empty the beds of all who heard it to go and see for themselves. As to people all over the world and throughout history, such news was incredible. “Aw, they have had a nightmare. They must have been drinking new wine. They are drunk out their minds.” Apparently, they all went back to bed.
We have incredible news to declare to the world. God has come in the form of a man. The God/man Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah. His purpose is to take on the burden of all mankind’s sin and exchange our sin for His righteousness and to give us a place beside God in Heaven. At this time of year, we can shout to ring the rafters, just as the shepherds did.
But we also have a sleepy, unbelieving society, who will be annoyed by such a boisterous announcement of good news. They take it as the ravings of the deluded, and grumbling crawl back to sleep. Some call the cops and report us for disturbing the peace.
The good news is True, and for us we get to become martyrs.
Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12)
…that ye may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to walk worthily of the Lord unto all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, unto all patience and long-suffering with joy; giving thanks unto the Father, who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; (Colossians 1:9-12)