Too often, we rush and we fail to slow down
to consider the common sense of a Bible passage - in context.
Like a learner in a reading class, let's break down a passage to see if we can comprehend it better.
Luke 2:15-20 (NASB)
17 When they had seen Him, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.
- Who did the shepherds tell about he angelic prophecy?
- What is the response of the people who heard their testimony?
- Who is present at the stable?
- What do the words of shepherds mean to Mary?
- What do the shepherds do with the information they have been given?
These are shepherds talking - probably not the most eloquent of preachers, and yet the reaction the receive to their testimony is pretty remarkable. "And all who heard it were amazed..." The passage says the people are amazing by the message of the shepherds; it does not say they were amazed by their excellent preaching abilities. Even the mother of Jesus beams with pride. After all, the shepherds are confirming what she already knows (They're not the only ones who have seen angels!).
I am taken aback by the idea that there may be people standing around who are not related to the family in the stable. It sounds like there are others in the scene, perhaps curious as to the commotion in the stall. Even these curious bystanders are impressed by the message the shepherds share. This baby is actually someone important? That is now confirmed by the shepherds.
And important to note: the shepherds returned to their flocks, but they are so much more than lowly shepherds in the field. Now they have become evangelists. The last item of not for our present purposes is the idea that the shepherds only tell others what they have been told. They do not appear to add anything to or subtract from the Word of God.