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Humble Hero

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    Only the Shepherds Cared

    In the very fields where the boy David had led his flock, shepherds keeping watch by night talked together of the promised Savior and prayed for His coming. And “an angel of the Lord stood before them. ... Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’”HH 17.2

    When they heard these words, dreams of glory filled the minds of the listening shepherds. The Deliverer has come! They associated power, exaltation, and triumph with His coming. But the angel prepared them to recognize their Savior in poverty and humiliation: “You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”HH 17.3

    The heavenly messenger had quieted their fears. He had told them how to find Jesus. He had given them time to become accustomed to the divine radiance. Then the whole plain lit up with the bright shining of the angels of God. Earth was hushed, and heaven stooped to listen to the song—HH 17.4

    “Glory to God in the highest,
    And on earth peace, good will toward men!”
    HH 17.5

    Oh that today the human family could recognize that song! The song the angels sang will grow louder to the close of time and echo to the ends of the earth.HH 17.6

    As the angels disappeared, the shadows of night once more fell on the hills of Bethlehem. But the brightest picture human eyes ever saw remained in the memory of the shepherds. They “said to one another, ‘Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.”HH 17.7

    They left with great joy and told everyone they met the things they had seen and heard. “And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.”HH 17.8

    Heaven and earth are no wider apart today than when shepherds listened to the angels’ song. Angels from the courts above will accompany those in the common occupations of life who respond to God’s leading.HH 17.9

    In the story of Bethlehem is hidden “the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God.” Romans 11:33. We are amazed at the Savior’s sacrifice in exchanging the throne of heaven for the manger. Human pride stands rebuked in His presence.HH 17.10

    Yet this was only the beginning of His condescension! It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take human nature even when Adam stood in innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam, He accepted the results of heredity. We can see what these results were in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with just such a heredity to share our temptations and give us the example of a sinless life.HH 18.1

    Satan hated Christ. He hated the One who pledged Himself to redeem sinners. Yet into the world where Satan claimed the right to rule, God permitted His Son to come as a helpless baby, subject to the weakness of humanity, to meet life’s dangers just like everyone else, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it—at the risk of failure and eternal loss.HH 18.2

    The heart of the human father looks into the face of his little child and trembles at the thought of life’s dangers. He longs to shield him from temptation and conflict. To meet a bitterer conflict and more fearful risk, God gave His only Son.HH 18.3

    “In this is love.” Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth!HH 18.4

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