As we continue our Christmas series, “Do you See What I See: Looking at How to See Christmas Through God’s Eyes,” we focus on the shepherds. As with most of Luke’s Gospel, being centered on Jesus’ interactions with the marginalized (including the shepherds as a key part of the birth story) is no accident. In Jesus’ day the shepherds as a people group were one of the more despised, untrusted, unclean, & judged people in society. In this message we learn how to stop automatically categorizing who’s in and who’s out based on superficial judgements of worth, and how to recognize the marginalized peoples in our own society and what God might have to say through them.
2 thoughts on “Circles of Affection”
” In Jesus’ day the shepherds as a people group were one of the more despised, untrusted, unclean, & judged people in society. ” That is false. It is an anachronism forced on Jesus’ day from the centuries that followed the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion. 3rd Century A.D. source. See I. Howard Marshall, Luke, NIGTC.
Sword of the SpiritCHAPTER 6
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; 6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: 8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. 9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearinga threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against fleshb and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Many ministers of the Word say the Sword, of the Spirit is the Word of God. They do not quote the whole thought. Verse 17 does not end with a full stop. There is a semi-colon, which tells us the thought is continued. The parts of the armor are nouns, but the Sword is a verb! The Sword is the Word of God [Jesus] the intercessor praying always with all manner of prayer, for the saints. Once the saints enter into agreement with the intercessor these prayers become the Sword of the Spirit.
Translators of the modern versions have changed the meaning of this verse by puting a period after God. Then all that Jesus has been doing falls on the believer! Jesus gets a break. A very honorable, democratic thing to do!