Read my mind. (Answers)

Last week, as an attempt to give folks some heads up on the sermon before it started, I posted some questions the sermon would answer.

This is the follow up, with my answers.
  • Who else, besides this woman, is of short stature and receives special attention from Jesus?
Zacchaeus is actually who I was thinking of.  His story is amazing and is no less a healing story than the woman bent over for 18 years.  Every person Jesus meets is seen differently than those who are usually around them.  When Jesus meets a leper he shakes his hand.  When Jesus sees a tax collector in a tree, he welcomes himself into his home (duh, Zack has some money lol).  When this woman who is bent over needs to be straightened, Jesus does just that.  One point I made in my sermon was that Jesus seeks these people out.  Those that are marginalized, oppressed, or "unloveable" are exactly the kind of people Jesus came to save.  Let me put it another way.

There are some people who think they have exactly what they need to pull themselves up.  You know anyone like this?  They usually show more than just confidence.... they show arrogance.  It's because something they have.... they don't need God (or so they think).

Money, sex, power.  These things make the door towards accepting what God offers so small it might as well be the eye of a needle.
  • Why would Jesus get indignant, if not for observing the Sabbath?
Bottom line is you don't want to stand between God and God's children.  Mark 10:13-16, Jesus gets indignant at the Disciples not letting the kids come to him.  I can't think there are good things waiting for anyone who stands between God and the Children who don't know him - would you want to stand against the Almighty?  Nope.

And since you wouldn't want to stand between God and those that God loves, I'd suggest doing whatever you can to avoid getting in God's way.  Like... I dunno... weighing people down with heavy burdens.  Naval gazing (it's real, yep).  Treating people as less than human.  These things draw you into a precarious place.  I'm not saying God will smite you, I'm saying it can't make God happy.
  • If you'll take care of your _____________, you should take care of your _____________.
I intended to say "If you'll take care of your property, you should take care of your people." - But that may or may not 
  • Who loses out when God sets our priorities right?
No one.  God led the Hebrew people out of Egypt to a life of freedom.  To get there they had to escape across a sea - that same sea swept back over the pursuing Egyptians and drowned them.

Did God weep for the drowning Egyptians?

Something in us wants to say no.  No, God didn't weep for the drowning Egyptians.  No, God planned to drown them.  No, God killed them so it is to be celebrated.  No, God doesn't like the oppressors.  No, God gave them what they deserved.  No, God has a plan and their deaths were part of it.

But I think the more terrifying answer (well, to those who don't yet understand God's love), is that something in us wants to say yes.  Yes, God wept for the drowning Egyptians.  Yes, God loves even those who hold others back.  Yes, God hates to see violence and death.  Yes,God provided a better way.  Yes, God frees not just the captive but the captor.  Yes, God's abundant mercy is available even for the tax collector.  Yes, God provided the Sabbath to provide rest.  Yes, God sent Jesus Christ for the unlovable.

You get the idea.

To bring it back around, when we are made straight, we win.  When our enemies are made straight, we win.  When those unworthy of our love and care are made straight, we win.  This is why the crowds rejoiced and the religious leaders were shamed.