By Steve Johnson
The Christmas story records in Luke 2:8-20 that God spoke to some working men. They were shepherds taking care of some flocks during the night. Faithful to their jobs, fulfilling their responsibilities, using the talents God had gifted them with, taking care of their own family’s needs, and ministering to others with their occupations. Like so many today, they were working men.
God has spoken to humanity directly, through His written word, by prophets, priests, and other anointed persons. God has also spoken at times to humanity by angels. Sampson’s parents, Daniel, Joshua, and others are found in the bible as conversing with angels. No matter how God speaks to us, it is important that we respond correctly to the word of the Lord, obeying Him in every way. If we do not, curses will come upon us and our world. Adam and Eve received a curse due to disobedience. Jeremiah 26:4-6 refers to a city being cursed due to the inhabitants not obeying God. The Old Testament ends with the possibility of a curse upon the whole earth if men will not listen to the word of the Lord.
The word of the Lord has been sent to kings, prophets, husbands, wives, priests, fathers, mothers, the godly, and the ungodly. The Word of the Lord has come to the young and the old, to people of both sexes. Many times we tend to think of the Word of the Lord coming to those who deal with the Word of the Lord on a regular basis, such as the priests. Or perhaps those who have a special intimacy with the Lord, such as the prophets. God certainly does communicate with those who serve Him in these capacities. But sometimes God surprises us when He wants to do something extremely special. In those moments He has been known to bypass the kings, the prophets, the priests, and the national leaders. At times
God has spoken to the least in the nation. He has spoken to fig pickers. He has spoken to children. He has spoken to slave girls.
He has communicated to the outcasts of society among men. Wonderful revelations were given to them. Prophecies were given to them. It seems that God delights in revealing great things to those who are not theologians, or persons of power and influence. In this particular passage in Luke, God chose to send a message through an angel to some men who were of the working class.
This was a very special night, with a very special occasion. Something had just happened that had never happened before, and would never occur again in all of eternity. When God robed Himself in flesh and came to live among men, God revealed His greatest gift to a few working men. Before the wise men came from the east, before king Herod found out about the child, before those in the temple who saw Him at His circumcision heard about Him, shepherds saw Jesus, and had a revelation that He was the Messiah. Working people were the first to hear about and identify the Messiah.
A message of peace and great joy came to these working men. They were told that this message of great joy was for all people. They were the first to hear that a Savior had been born. Working men need to hear about a Savior. Often working men struggle with the world they work in. Temptations are all around them. Ungodly talk, immoral behavior, crude jokes, raw language, worldly music, and a constant focus on this world and the things of this world are always before them. It is easy for the working man or woman to be exposed to all the world has to offer, and want it for themselves. They can begin to live for the material things they work with. Tools can become a goal for them to obtain. The clothing they sell can become a trap to them. The houses they help build can become a dream for them to work towards owning. The power they see others exercising can become a desire for them to have over others. What a great thing that working men today can hear the message about Jesus. He can save them from the ungodly talk. Jesus call save them from immoral behavior. Jesus can help them resist the lust of the flesh, the pride of life and the lust of the eyes.
These men not only had a revelation that a Savior had been born, they also had a revelation this Savior was the Messiah, and that the Messiah was the Lord Himself. Their God was revealed as their Savior. And yet, they were told to look for a baby lying in a manger. They had an understanding that God had wrapped Himself in flesh to save them from their sins.
There are blessings waiting for the working man who will obey God. The shepherds found the baby just as the angel said. We also can find Jesus for ourselves.
After they found Jesus, the Bible says they told others about Him. Telling the good news about Jesus is not only for the priest, the prophet and other theologisans. When the working man finds Jesus, he should tell others about his experience, and what he knows about Jesus. God does not expect the working man to have all the answers, but He does want the working man to testify about what he does know and what he has experienced.
It is interesting that the shepherds did not change what they were doing when the angel appeared to them. They did not quit the flocks and start a new ministry of ex-shepherds who were now experts at hearing from angels. The Bible says they returned back to their fields and flocks, glorifying and praising God. Unless God tells you otherwise, keep on doing what you were doing when the Word of the Lord came to you. God still needs waitresses on the job witnessing for Him. God still needs bankers, He needs housewives, He needs carpenters, He needs secretaries, He needs store clerks, and stockbrokers who will be a witness to others about Jesus. Whatever you are doing with your life, the Father wants you to hear about His Son. He wants you to come to know Him. And then once you know Jesus as the Savior, God wants you to glorify and praise Him as you continue to live on earth, meeting the needs of your family and ministering to others with your occupation.
Article “When God Speaks to the Working Man” excerpted from “Apostolic Accent”. Article written by Steve Johnson.