Mary Had a Little Lamb!
“This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12)
The shepherds who were in the fields watching their flocks that night were terrified when the angel of the Lord suddenly appeared. Then the glory of the Lord unexpectedly lighted up the field. Not your ordinary night of watching sheep.
But the news was joyous, Today in the city of David has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11). Their long-awaited Messiah had finally come!
The blessed news was verified with a twofold sign—a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in what some Greek translations describe as the manger.
The shepherds responded by immediately going to Bethlehem. How did they know where the manger was? There doesn’t appear to be any discussion among the shepherds about which manger the angels meant. But you don’t need GPS or even angels if you already know where you are going.
The shepherds were considered to be Levitical shepherds, caring for sacrificial sheep that were to be slaughtered in the Temple. They had learned that the promised King of Israel was to be born in Bethlehem.
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.” (Micah 5:2)
They would also have known from Micah 4:8 that the Messiah was to be revealed in their Tower of the Flock—the watchtower of the shepherds’ field. This was the location of the manger used for a newborn lamb, which they wrapped in swaddling clothes to keep it as an unblemished sacrifice.
And you, O Tower of the Flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto you shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem”
The shepherds would find baby Jesus wrapped as a newborn lamb in the birthplace of sacrificial lambs. John the Baptist understood the significance of this as he announced Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29).
So we can accurately declare: Mary had a little lamb! No wonder the shepherds glorified and praised God. The promised Messiah had come!