It was an amazing night of wonder and miracles. The little shepherd boy hugged the little lamb in his arms as he looked at the tiny baby in a manger. How could it be? This newborn infant was hailed as King by the angels out in the fields earlier. The brilliant star, which lit up the heavens, led them to the stable to witness the truth of their message. A child was born, but not just an ordinary child.
The shepherd boy nestled his fingers through the tightly woven coat of the lamb. His arms cradled the little animal close to his breast. He could feel its rapid heartbeat as he gently caressed the baby sheep. This young shepherd would be responsible for the lamb. He would make sure that there would be green pastures for it to graze upon. He would provide protection for the lamb against predators and foolish mistakes that it might make along the way. He loved his little lamb and would do anything for it.
As they left the stable, the young shepherd approached his older brother and said, “How could that little baby be the long-awaited Messiah?”
“Didn’t you see the star? Weren’t you witness to the angels in the sky? Of course, this must be the King we’ve been waiting for,” said the older shepherd.
“But he’s just a baby and aren’t kings supposed to be born in palaces with servants surrounding them? Didn’t you see? His bed was nothing but a feeding trough.”
His brother led him back to the hills and told him to wait there. He and the other shepherds had a job to do. They went to Bethlehem to tell the people what they had witnessed. Stars were twinkling above. The rustling of the sheep soon settled down and only a stray bleat could be heard. The boy looked up into the heavens. He remembered the stories that would be told around the campfire almost every night of his life. The story about King David, being the runt of his family – the last-born child, who was no more than a boy himself came to mind. When the new King of Israel was to be anointed, he would come from the line of Jesse. The least of the brothers would become the greatest. When faced with certain death, David would confront the giant, Goliath and defeat him with a slingshot and one stone. God provided the strength which instantly killed David’s opponent. He would rule as a great commander and chief. He was a warrior king. Maybe that’s what the young shepherd thought the Messiah would be.
As he stroked the head of the little lamb it became apparent that the baby in the manger was a descendent of King David. He looked at the little lamb in his arms. He knew it had only one purpose and would someday be sacrificed in the temple. The sacrifice had to be unblemished – perfect in every way. He cried softly as he thought about the fate of his pet but knew that it was the only way. It was then that he grasped the truth of the infant, Jesus. The babe in the manger was the unblemished sacrifice which had come to earth by miraculous means, to rescue all mankind. He would be the Savior of the world and truly the only King ever to be worshiped as God and man.