Summary: Mordecai depicted as a simple slave waiting at the gate of Susan. But he was a powerful reformer, revolutionary and preacher. He turned the world upside down through his short sermon. How?

Theme: Mordecai, the Powerful Preacher

Text: Esther 4:12-17

Introduction to Book of Esther:

According to Jewish Library sources: Megillah Esther is the name of the Book of Esther in the Jewish TANAKH. Megillah means Ketuvim (“Writings”). It is one of the Diaspora stories of Jews. It provides an optimistic picture of Jewish survival and success in a foreign land. Esther emphasizes visibly two pious characters and model a religious lifestyle. The book of Esther is a “secular in nature among the biblical books. It has no reference to God’s name, to the Temple, to prayer, or to distinctive Jewish practices. The festival of “Purim” is historicized and mandated to observe by the Megillah. The Book of Esther serves as the authorizing document for Purim, a holiday that is not mentioned in the Torah. This is the first post-Torah festival. Another successful rhetorical strategy is the combination of a serious theme and a comic style. Esther, the beautiful Jewish wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus (Xerxes I), and her cousin Mordecai persuade the king to retract an order for the general annihilation of Jews throughout the empire.

Today, I would like to share with you that Mordechai established his identity as a Jew; He preached through his credibility; He preached the reality.

1. He preached through HIS IDENTITY (Esther 2:5-7)

Mordecai means “Kind” referring to the god Morduch of Babylonians. The Midrash explains that Mordecai was a Benjaminite (Esther 2:5). He was the son of Jair, a Benjamite, and a cousin of Esther. He had previously been carried into captivity together with Jeconiah by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon (Esther 2 5-7, 15). According to the Rabbis, the name "Mordecai" is a compound of the Aramaic "pure myrrh". According to Ezra 2: 2 and Nehemiah 7: 7, he returned with Zerubbabel from the Captivity.

The Rabbis consider that "Mordecai" and "Bilshan" were the names of one man, the latter name having been given him on account of his knowledge of many languages. Mordecai was a member of the Great Sanhedrin which sat in the chamber of square hewn stones, and each member of which knew all the seventy languages.

Targum Sheni (to Esth. ii. 5) traces the complete genealogy of Mordecai back to Benjamin through Shimei son of Gera (2 Samuel 16: 5-6, 13; 1 Kings 2: 8, 36-46), Jonathan, and Saul. But Esther 2:5 makes Mordecai a descendant of both Judah and Benjamin. So, Rabbis explained that Mordecai, was on his father's side a descendant of Benjamin, and on his mother's a descendant of Judah.

The courtiers asked Mordecai why he refused to bow before Haman, when Jacob, Mordecai's ancestor, had bowed before Esau, Haman's ancestor (Gen. 33:3). Mordecai replied that this took place before Benjamin, from whom he (Mordecai) was descended, was born (Targum Sheni to Esther 3:3).

Esther 2:5 says that people around him knew that He was a Jew. This word Jew is used 55 times in the Bible. The marks of the Jew are: Esther 3:2- A Jew will not bow before men, Esther 6:13 – a Jew will succeed. Esther 3:8 His customs, characters and habits are different than others. He was approachable, accessible and friendly with all. The Lord has raised him next to the King. He became great among the Jews and his community. He was a beloved person to all his people. He always stood for the good of his people. A spiritual transformation comes when we turn to God with humility during trials, and reposing our faith in the scriptural truths and obedience by confession of sins.

2. He preached through HIS CREDIBILITY (Esther 2:21-23)

Mortdecai established his credibility, believability, trustworthiness and reliability with his colleagues and to his master. A single deed is better than thousand words. Mordecai was a Faithful servant, He saved his master’s life. He was a faithful steward in his duties (Esther 5:9, 6:10). Living at Shushan, the Persian capital, and sitting constantly at the gate of the king's palace, Mordecai discovers a plot of two eunuchs against the king. Since, Mordechai was an expert in 70 languages, so was able to discover the plot of the two eunuchs who conversed in the language of Tarshish (Targum Sheni to Esther 2: 22).

Though, He had opportunity to seize the power, had chance of becoming a king and a leader but he used it as a vehicle to carry the goodness of God. He repaid the evil with Good. He seized the opportunity to show kindness even at the expenses of his position, royal hood and wealth and life. Having informed the king through Esther of the conspiracy, Mordecai brings about the execution of the two conspirators, and the event is recorded in the royal chronicles (Esther 2: 21-23).

There was a reversal of events during his life time. There was a fear of Mordechai (Esther 9:3). Since, he was a holy man, a great man, a courageous man, and a man with spiritual qualities so one could stand before him. Esther’s father died during her mother’s pregnancy, and latter mother died during childbirth (Esther 2:7 – Orphan). Further it says that Mordecai’s wife nursed the infant. Jacob’s blessing to his sons, he blesses Benjamin (Gen. 49:27): “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he consumes the foe, and in the evening he divides the spoil,” which the Rabbis applied to Mordecai and Esther. Just as a wolf seizes its spoils, so did Esther seize the throne; similarly, Mordecai and Esther divided Haman’s spoils among them

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