Sunday, December 22, 2019

God chose shepherds

Delbert Enns

God chose shepherds throughout the Old Testament. Moses. David. God called himself a shepherd. 
By the time of the Talmut shepherds were the lowest of the low. Outcasts. Ceremoniously unclean. Foul mouthed fighters.

Why did God reveal himself to shepherds? He came for the ones that were NOT IN. 

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, because Jesus was going to pass that way. So he came down quickly and welcomed Jesus joyfully.  But Zacchaeus stopped and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord, half of my possessions I now give to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone of anything, I am paying back four times as much!" Then Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this household, because he too is a son of Abraham!  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."
Luke 19:1‭, ‬4‭, ‬6‭, ‬8‭-‬10 NET

It's uphill from Jericho to Jerusalem. It was the tax capital of the area. Z was the district manager of the tax thieves. Sinner. Z is wealthy but he knew something was missing. 

Jesus had just healed a blind beggar. The story circulated and Z had to find out what it was all about. Z felt rejected and lonely. Lots of emotions. 

Z had challenges. He didn't want to be seen so he climbed a tree to get close to Jesus. He was wealthy and made a double fool of himself by running and climbing a tree. When Jesus talked to him he was filled with joy. Jesus was seeking him. Jesus finds us. We are nobody. He comes to our house. Hurry. Don't think about what others think. Get off your tree. You don't belong there. 
Let's have dinner now without lots of preparation. Just as you are. Joy forged in the fire of discouragement. The crowd grumbled about Jesus going to dine with sinners. 

When you have joy in your heart others will think you are nuts. 
Joy inspires hope. Transformation. Z became staggeringly generous. Joy is a gift from God. We can receive joy by letting go of our past. 
Albert Schweitzer Quote: "If you own something you cannot give away, then you don't own it, it owns you." 

For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost. 

Is He Savior to you? 
Is He Lord to you? 

May the God of Hope fill you with joy. 

Joy to the world. Joy joy. 

Delbert and Marianne are taking a Sabbatical until end of April. Ministry will continue with help from everyone. 

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