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Summary: The baby born in Bethlehem had a business head on His shoulders along with all the rest He came to accomplish

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WW120501 The business of Bethlehem’s baby John 8

Beginning:

Have you ever heard someone say, “I keep my religion and my business separated.” Or, God has no business in my business. This could not be further from the truth.

Some think faith in Jesus is esoteric, ivory towered, philosophical, traditional, warm fuzzy, church stuff.

Would it surprise you to discover that much of what Jesus came to do was economic? The baby born in Bethlehem had a business head on his shoulders.

Background:

The Jewish people developed a religious system that blinded them to the truth about the very God they were trying to know.

17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me."

The Jewish people thought themselves to be the people closest to God of all men on earth. They not only were far away, but also were keeping people from knowing Him.

Their religion had become very complicated and oppressive to the very people it was intended to simplify and free.

19 Then they asked him, "Where is your father?" "You do not know me or my Father," Jesus replied. "If you knew me, you would know my Father also."20 He spoke these words while teaching in the temple area near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his time had not yet come.

Jesus knew that breaking through their “Traditions and Religion” and re-establishing truth would require drastic language.

21 Once more Jesus said to them, "I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come."

The darkness was complete in the Jewish religious leadership.

Basic Truth: Jesus’ unique position allowed Him to redefine God’s plan and clarify His claims on our everyday lives.

23 But he continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."

Burning Question What were the financial changes the Messiah came to establish? 25 Who are you?" they asked.

Prophecy

Psalm 146:7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free.

Jesus announced His Messiah ship by declaring the year of Jubilee

Luke 4:16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18 "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor." 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him,

Don’t miss the drama of this moment:

Luke 4:21 and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

Jesus declared the year of Jubilee. WOW!!!!

The Messiah came to set prisoners free.

People were not put in jail for murder, theft, adultery, and the like-they were killed. The people in jail were there because they could not pay their bills. Prisons were for debtors.

How do I know if I am in financial bondage?

#1. Does your family have its basic needs met, or are you always running out of money before you run out of month?

#2. Do you have extra to give to the needy?

#3. Do you tithe or tip?

If you find you are embarrassed by your answers to these questions, you are in financial bondage. There is a way out.

Put God first

Ask God to teach you how to live with financial excellence and follow His instructions exactly.

*Read the letter from Jeff and Julie from Naperville, Illinois.

The Messiah would give sight to the blind.

Vision health is a real problem in any third world setting. Blind people were a drain on family’s barley existing above the poverty level. Babies coming into the family were needed because they could help work the land and take of the older family members. When they are blind they are a financial drain.

Jesus came to restore people to the work world. His miracles made it possible for people to re engage in their own support. Blindness was a bondage and Jesus opened the door.

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