The Lost,The Least, The Last

The Church is called to seek and save the lost. This is why Jesus came from Heaven and became one of us. Luke 19:10, Jesus states, “I came to seek and save the lost.” And, as His Body, the Church, here and now we are called to continue His work and even bring it to completion. He said to the early Church, “Go into all the world and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). Same thing. Same mandate. And, it is the duty of every true disciple of Jesus to be going into their world and fishing for the lost (Matthew 4:19). Jesus said, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” So, if we are not fishing we are simply not following. We are, however, deceiving ourselves. Something to think about as we begin the Christmas season 2016.

The Wise Men came and asked the ruler of Judea, “Where is He that was born king…” Why did they ask Herod this? Because they expected that the king of Israel would have been born in a palace. But, He wasn’t. Jesus, the rightful heir to the throne of Israel, quietly entered the world in a stable on the outskirts of little Bethlehem, beneath notice of the wealthy, the educated, and the elite. His arrival was not completely ignored or unnoticed, however.

Luke2:8-12 “And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

Shepherds were the social outcasts of their day, a necessary yet ostracized caste without whom the temple could not function. While they tended the animals required for ritual sacrifice, the conscientious Jew – ever concerned with purity – spurned shepherds as too unclean to stand among other worshippers. Imagine the reception a dirty migrant worker would receive at the door of a sophisticated country club, and you will understand where the shepherds ranked in Hebrew society.

While the rich and powerful in Jerusalem formed factions, alternately resisting and sweet-talking the Romans, blissfully unaware of the momentous event taking place in the countryside, angels appeared to the people most likely to understand what was happening. Imagine how the outcast shepherds felt when they heard that the King’s palace was a stable and His cradle was a feeding trough. At last, they had a King who shared their low station, who would care about the things that mattered to them. Perhaps this King would value His subjects more than conquests and the acquisition of more and more wealth.

Right from the start Jesus, the King born in Bethlehem in a lowly stable, made the world aware of the fact that He came for the lost, the least, and the last. And that only the humble would find Him. But, more important for us today; He was making it very clear that our work for Him is to take the Good News of His birth, life and ministry, death, and resurrection to those today who are the lost, the least, and the last.

How you doing this special time of the year with the task that Jesus gave you to accomplish for Him and in His Name and power?

 

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