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Because He Was a Beggar

David Shin

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Does caste or color determine a person's value? Listen as Pastor David reflects on heaven's estimation of human value.

Presenter

David Shin

Pastor, Hillside O'Malley Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Anchorage, AK

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Recorded

  • November 26, 2016
    11:30 AM
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On the screen I have a picture of a sign that is right outside of modern day Jericho and you can see the words there it's kind of faded a little bit Jericho the world's oldest city it is reputed to be or claimed to be the oldest inhabited city to this day Jericho is a city with a rich history. Dating back to before the days of Joshua remember the story of Joshua and his armies going around the city 7 times in the walls fell down by the way as a side note recent archaeological discoveries have found that indeed in ancient days that the walls of Jericho did fall down archaeology has verified that you remember in the days of he. Went to Jericho and made healing a miracle he performed a miracle the healing of the waters there in Jericho and right before the time of Christ Mark Anthony gave Jericho to clear Patra and after they died Herod the Great took over Jericho and Jericho is the setting of our story today it picks up right there in that city where one who is greater than Mark Anthony clear Patra or even Joshua passed through that city over 2000 years ago so I want to invite you to open your Bibles with me to March after 10 and verse 46 it's page 1166 if you're using the Bible provided for you there in the pew I'll be reading from the New King James version you can follow along in whatever version you have there Chapter 10 verse 46 this is Mark's account of this miracle that took place there in Jericho over 2000 years ago. Now they came to Jericho as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great multitude were following him Evidently this was a time in Christ's ministry where he was very popular according to Mark's account this is the last miracle that Jesus performed before he went to the crucifixion the miracles had followed Jesus messages or the News of the miracles that followed Jesus and this great multitude were following him and then the scene shifts to a blind man it says Blind Bartimaeus the son of Tim A is sat by the road banking and when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth He began to cry out and say Jesus son of David have mercy on me you see here is that Jesus is passing by and he cries out. Jesus son of David have mercy on me and scholars have told us that the term Son of David is a messianic term this is an indication that Bartimaeus has a measure of faith he believes that Jesus is the Messiah the Son of David verse $48.00 notice the reaction of the crowd then many warned him in the N.T.S.B. it says they rebuked him sternly So here's the scene there's a crowd a throng around Jesus as he's passing through Jericho on his way out Bartimaeus hears that Jesus is there he cries out for help Jesus son of David have mercy upon me and the crowd around Jesus rebukes him strongly and says Be quiet. But he cried out the more Son of David have mercy on me this is a fascinating story because the issue in this account regarding Bartimaeus is not that Mark Barden me is did not have enough faith remember in previous stories we noted that the issue is always faith when it comes to healing Bartimaeus had plenty of faith what is the problem in this story The problem is the kraut The problem is the people around Jesus and they are saying to Jesus not saying to Jesus they're saying to Bartimaeus be quiet button it up zip it Hutch this is the irony they're following Jesus in the same Can't you see I'm trying to follow Jesus this is this is God's chosen people this is not a gentile City this is God's chosen people these are the Jews all around Jesus following Jesus and here is a person that is crying out for help and they are telling this individual to be quiet Hotch Please don't say any more I'm trying to follow Jesus. When you see pictures of prominent individuals like movie stars usually there are around them these security individuals usually a lot bigger than me. And notice that these security individuals around this star I've never seen him before the stories and I put them on the screen so we won't get distracted here but notice that around this individual when you look at this slide you'll see that these are individuals that are to provide a a barrier around him they are denying access so that a common person cannot just walk up to them they're not only there for security but they're to provide a blockade around the individual Now you'll notice that in this story the crowd around Jesus became a bear or a year or 2 Jesus Bartimaeus wanted access to God but the crowd became a blockade they break became a roadblock an obstruction they were preventing access to God as we noted earlier these were the chosen people these were the Jews this was not a gentile part of town and they were sternly telling him to be quiet Could it be that we as Christians could possibly become just like that crowd a barrier that does not grant access to God The question is why were they a barrier What was their mindset what gave them the license to treat this man in this way they would not talk to any individual that sternly and tell him to be quiet to hush to be silent but in this case there was a certain mentality that was pervasive around that crowd that was preventing access to the Son of God. If you look in verse 46. Now they came to Jericho as he went out of the city with His disciples and a great multitude blind Bartimaeus the son of tomatoes sat by the road begging I contend here this morning that the reason why those people had the right or felt that they had the right or the license to talk to Bartimaeus in this way was simply because of this reason that I've highlighted here on the screen he sat by the road doing what begging this was a panhandler this was a beggar this was an individual that was sought by the side of the road asking for on homes for a handout you see them even here in Lansing I passed by someone every single day on my way to the office here at the church get off on exit forgot the name of the exit but you get off 127 right there coming from the north side there's an individual by the left hand side of the road he has a cardboard sign much like this one and it says anything please help me and I want to be honest when you see someone by the side of the road panhandling asking for a donation a handout there is a certain stigma that is associated with someone that is asking for something by the side of the road Am I correct yes or no automatically in the consciousness of I would say the majority of individuals and I dare say the majority of individuals here I know what's going through my mind I am you're kind of torn between these 2 realities do I help the person. Because I look down and I see some change and I will be honest there have been times when I have stopped and I've given him and this is kind of how it goes I cracked the window about this much. Wave over to him and you wait till you know when the lines about turn green and you pass the do you say God bless you because you're just you don't know what's going to happen and then even when you give him something what is in the back your mind I wonder how he's going to use the money is and. There's a stigma associated with panhandlers and this is what's taking place this is not a new phenomenon beggars have existed from the days from the inception I believe of sin poverty and this individual was of a certain class of society that the Jewish mind continued are considered a sob category of human existence a class of society that were so beneath them that here's an individual that is crying out for the grace of God and God's own chosen people are there acting like a body guard a barricade we're going to block we're going to deny access to Grace why because of your status you are a beggar be quiet. Be silent the implication is that this beggar in Jericho does not deserve deserve access to grace that is what is taking place in this story I contend this morning that the crowd denied access to Christ because he was a beggar he was as of a social class that was deemed unworthy of Christ's presence. I want you to contrast this with another story in Luke chapter said Luke Chapter 7 verse 45 when they came to him they pleaded with him earnestly this man deserves to have you do this they're coming on behalf of an official and notice the language here it's much different the attitude is much different than what Bartimaeus here is a prestigious individual in society and the Jews come on his behalf and notice the language this man deserves to have you do this why because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue so Jesus went with them what quite a different mentality there not denying access they're going on this person's behalf begging Jesus to come and heal this individual because he deserves it the Jews had succumbed to what I call a high arche of human value that there is a pecking order a ranking when it comes to the worth of an individual it's a social pyramid a social stratification where someone sees you are placed and you are automatically placed on a scale determined to determine where you rank in their estimation these people are valued on a set pre-term pre-determined criteria and there are certain classes of people that are more valuable than others and the ultimate representation of this is what I call or what is called the caste system we experience I guess you could say metaphorically an example of the caste system every time you fly is that right I thought about this last night I flew to G Y C. And it's just this feeling because the class society comes into play when you fly and your status determines when you board I'm Or one time there's very few times that this happens I got bumped up to 1st class who. I mean you act different so I said David Shinn please do inform you that you have gotten bumped up to 1st class and I was like. Wow. And then it comes over the intercom we are now boarding 1st class platinum diamond you know and then you're like oh that must be me. Come up there they even have a different carpet for you to come in you come in on a different side I fly Delta Sky Priority come in there person grabs your ticket Thank you Mr Shin Enjoy your flight you go inside that cabin and it's like a different reality let me tell you even the juice comes in a different different Cup and it's it's placed on a survey yet it's not a napkin it's a serviette and they put a curtain so that you don't have to see those animals back in coach. And those people back there don't even have the right to use your bathroom they have to go all the way to the back and the stewardess comes by and says Mr Sion would you like to read the New York Times or The Wall Street Journal. What a different reality this is the caste system on the plane you experience it every single time you fly and I went on the internet this is this is Singapore Airlines 1st class suite now that. Is the caste system look at this reality and then everybody else is like this. And the airlines illustrate metaphorically to how we as individuals naturally rank human value let's be honest if you meet this criteria. We treat you this way if you don't meet the criteria we treat you this way when we meet someone there is a snap judgment that takes place I'm talking about the unconverted heart apart from Jesus Christ you meet someone 30 seconds race ethnicity gender socio economic status education the way we are dressed 32nd there is an assessment and depending upon those criteria that society has set upon us we treat someone different on those basis on that basis this is not a new phenomenon and we would be naive to assume today that this mentality we do not struggle with 7th Day Adventists Christians to say that all we're all equal we don't deal with caste systems or treating someone different on the basis of color or class or education we're different because we're Christians of course we want to aspire to esteem to that reality but we must admit that we as human beings wrestle with the high arche of human values that the Jews did over 2000 years ago in the 1st century James here is speaking to the church. He's speaking to Christians he's not speaking to Jews and notice his language here in James Chapter 2 verse 2 through 4 my brothers and sisters believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ we must not show what is it say there we must not show favoritism he's talking to Christians if you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say here's a good seat for you but say to the poor man you stand there or sit on the floor by my feet have you not discriminated among yourselves here James is addressing the reality that we as Christians wrestle with the high archaea value when it comes to treating individuals we struggle with this we wrestle with this even in the 21st century but this is not where our own way of evaluating human value ends I believe that we take this evaluation and we actually projected on to God I believe those Jews that were around Jesus assume that God held the same values that they did that God really didn't care about blind Bartimaeus In other words they projected their value system of human worth on to God and they thought that God didn't care about Bartimaeus I heard one Christian author say that we live in an age today where we make God in our own image we believe that Jesus is just like us a middle class American that wears a Brooks Brothers suit lives in the suburbs has a 2 car garage and 2.5 children. We naturally make God in our own image we worship our own fabricated God that is just like us with our same values we make God in our own image we assume that even God operates on a caste system of human value notice Christ's response verse $49.00 of that same chapter Jesus stood still praise God he's passing through Jericho he hears Bartimaeus he hears how the crowd is responding to Bartimaeus and he stands still and he commanded him to be call he cares about the cry of Bartimaeus which we can draw all the logical conclusion that Jesus does not operate in the same way that we do he does not have a high arche of human worth in Heaven's eyes there is no caste system can you say men so Jesus stops there's other stories in the Bible like Luke Chapter 15 where heaven rejoices over just one sinner who repents and on the screen of us of a quotation from testimonies volume 6 page $21.00 soul is of more value to heaven then a whole world of property houses and lands and money $1.00 soul is of more value Jesus is operating from a different viewpoint a different paradigm when it comes to determining our worth Can you say praise God amen. Now what is that paradigm in preparation for this week's message I got to thinking about and I said OK well obviously Jesus doesn't operate in the same way we do when it comes to human value there is no scale there is no hierarchy of human value he does not judge or base our value upon our qualities or upon our condition then what is it now in a capitalistic society we naturally value something on the basis of certain criteria it's there's an assessment that takes place in regards to value now which is worth more this is a Rolls Royce OK which is worth more from a hierarchy of value capital from a capitalistic standpoint a Rolls Royce or my car. I love my cars a Subaru $2005.00 over 100000 miles on it rusting this from the hierarchy of value is worth over $250000.00 upwards and this is worth 2500 dollars All right so this is the system this is the criteria from which we base value it's there's an hierarchy and based on certain qualities like the make the model the condition the Miles there's an assessment that takes place and you say ah Rolls Royce the maker. Rolls Royce All right the epitome of luxury verses a Subaru you know $2004.00 and you naturally make an assessment and I got to thinking about this a little more which is worth more a Chris dollars that has just been printed by the Federal Reserve. Our dollar that's been sitting in my wallet the past 10 years crumpled dirty which one has more value now the same in other words the value of a dollar does not go up and down based on the condition there's something else and I did a little bit of research I am not an economist by Has myself know what gives a dollar value and there are some very smart people that have something called have it written down here somewhere it's called macro economic theory and these bright people say that the value of a dollar is not based upon the gold standard anymore in 1970 something Richard Nixon did away with the gold standard used to be that the dollar was something that you could hypothetically exchange to the Federal Reserve for a dollar of gold but that is not true anymore so if we are off the gold standard what gives the dollar value and I did some research and these bright minds have come to the conclusion that the reason our dollar is valuable is because of taxation but you know that is news to me in other words because the U.S. government says that the dollar is the only way that you can pay taxes the only form of measurement is the U.S. dollar that's the only way that you can pay taxes you can't bring your cow to the I.R.S. and say Here here's my tax and they'll say the only way you can come is U.S. dollars and because of that the dollar has value according to macroeconomic theory in other words the value of a dollar does not come from assessment the value of a dollar comes because it is assigned. It's assigned by the U. S. government. And they say if that dollar has printed on Federal Reserve and assigned a certain value a certain number to it aid has that all you it is not an assessed value it is an assigned value and our whole economy is based upon this notion I want to contend you this morning that our human value is not an assessed value it isn't assigned a value we said again our human value is not and assessed value meaning that is not because of the qualities you possess or don't possess it's not because of your condition it's not because of your status it is because God assigned you a value what is the value of humanity infinite why because God paid an infinite price and friends we need to switch systems and then we need to switch systems from an assessment system to an assigned system and recognize that in Heaven's eyes the person that you are sitting right next to here this morning was bought at an infant price can you say amen infinite You cannot measure the worth of a saw I have a quotation here from the Spirit of Prophecy the value of a soul this is from God's amazing grace $173.00 the value of a soul who Ken asked Tamate look upon the savior uplifted on the cross look upon the wounded head the pier side the marred feet at the foot of the cross remembering that for a one sinner a Christ would have laid down his life. One sinner Christ would have laid down His life you may asked him a the value of a soul Christ and Him crucified should become the theme of our thoughts and stir the deepest emotions of our souls it is through the cross alone that we can estimate the worth the value of a human soul the worth of man is known only by going to Calvary friends we need to operate in this paradigm and when we treat each other when we treat someone on the street a certain way it breaks the heart of God because that soul no matter the qualities no matter how dirty no matter how filthy is priceless because an infinite price. You notice that in this story it was a transformation that took place in the crowd look in verse 49 this is fascinating Jesus stops and says and asked them to go get the the beggar in verse 29 then they call the blind man saying to him Be of good cheer rise he is calling you on like he is the same crowd I mean just minutes before the like should be quiet zip it put a button on a don't say anything what's the matter with you Jesus doesn't he want to see you and then suddenly Jesus stops and says and tells the crowd why don't you go get him and then there's a change of heart they go to the individual be a good cheer. Stand on let me help you my friend I believe to a certain degree it was genuine because when they saw that Jesus valued this beggar It was a paradigm shift that took place in their minds they recognized that Jesus had assigned a value to that beggar that they had failed to assess. The value of a soul Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called verse $49.00 Jesus could have gone to that beggar on his own but he wanted the crowd to be his messengers he wanted he wanted the crowd to be the connection point and his ambassadors. Of the Declaration of Independence July 4th $776.00 there in the beginning notice what our founding fathers put into the Declaration of Independence we hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created in what does it say that all men are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator with certain on alienable rights here the founding fathers are in pawning that the ground from which we can determine the quality of all human beings is that we were created equal that we were assigned equality in the eyes of God from the inception from the beginning of creation God's amazing grace $173.00 if you are in communion with Christ you will place his estimate as to met upon every human being you will feel for others the same deep love that Christ has felt for you then you will be able to win and not drive to attract and not repulse those for whom he died well close with this the greater their sin the deeper their misery the more earnest and tender will be your efforts for their recovery. You will discern the need of those who are suffering who have been sinning against God and who are oppressed with the burden of guilt your heart will go out in sympathy for them and you will reach out to them a helping hand this is our prayer for us today. This story was published in The Seattle Times in 2004. A lady is passing by a dumpster and she noticed that that there is this strange object laying next to the dumpster and she stops her car gets out and goes to the side of this dumpster and reaches for this strange object it's in a case so she sit and she notices that it's an old cello that is there that someone had discarded and she was a person that was very thrifty should not want to waste this cello shows she brought it home in or her boyfriend was a carpenter and so she asked him you know when you have time could you please turn this into a CD case or something we can use to scrap wood a few days later she notices that in the paper there is an ad asking if anyone has seen a cello that has been stolen she thought maybe this is the cello so she calls the number and happened to find out that this was the actual cello that had been stolen from the Philharmonic Orchestra and she found out that the cello was over 300 years old and had been made by none other than Antonio Stradivari in his workshop there increment Italy it was one of only 80 cellos that had ever been made and this cello. That the thief determined as worthless and threw away that this woman was going to make into a CD case this same Stradivarius cello was valued in excess of $3500000.00 Why because it was made by the master craftsman and friend don't you ever believe the lie that you're not value. Don't you ever believe the lie that X. turn all qualities lowers or enhances your value our value lies in the reality that you came from the master created in the image of God who paid the infinite price to buy us back when but you stand with me as we prepare to close here this morning. Every head bowed and eyes closed. On to make a simple appeal you've heard the Holy Spirit speaking this morning you want to say Lord Jesus I want to accept you as my Savior I don't want to hold anything back you want to say Lord Jesus please come into my heart I want to accept you as the savior of my life on by you to raise your hand this morning to you and say Lord bless your friends come into my. Heaven is watching heaven is rejoicing you just have to open the door friends and just open the door by raising your hand God bless. My 2nd appeal. Perhaps there is someone here today and you have struggled. With self-worth you've struggled with feeling that you're valuable in the eyes of God and. Perhaps you believe some of the lives that your value is an assessed value that comes from having certain qualities or not. And today you want to say Lord Jesus. Help me to recognize my value on invite you to come forward if you want to say Lord help me to recognize today that I am priceless in the eyes of God I want to invite you to come down to the front you want to say God bless you friend God bless you me and say Lord Jesus police today help me to recognize my value in the eyes of God that it is not and assessed value it is an assigned a value Jesus Saves friends Amen and today you want to say Lord I want to recognize that Jesus paid the infinite price on my behalf God bless your friends Jesus Saves Jesus restores and there's no one in the world that values a smore than Jesus Christ and the way that we recognize other people's value. It begins with us. Recognize that God paid an infinite price on gallery. When invited about he has with me as we pray. Father in heaven we thank you for Jesus. We thank you that in Heaven's eyes there is no color there is no caste there is no hierarchy of human value and we pray today by the grace of God that you would help us to number one value ourselves the way that you value us help us to see that you paid an infinite price on our behalf I pray for every person that has accepted Jesus today as are Lord and Savior and you seal their decision with the Holy Spirit pray for those that are come forward here today asking that you would help us to recognize the price that you paid for us on Calvary helpless to see others the way that you see the value of a human soul less a spy your grace. Help us to live a life of love and service to others help us to see people the way that you see people help us to love people. Way that you love people for me as these things in Jesus name. Amen complex. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.

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