Summary: Like Jacob, we must keep our focus on Jesus not the obstacles which get in our way.
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
“The Trickster Gets Tricked”
By Rev. Kenneth Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA
In our Old Testament Lesson for this morning: Jacob the trickster gets tricked.
Jacob had literally ruined and wrecked his life.
He had deceived and lied to his father to steal the blessing and inheritance from his brother Esau.
Esau had threatened his life, and now Jacob was on the run.
But the most marvelous thing had happened to Jacob--it’s what we talked about last week--He saw
God’s Stairway to Heaven!
He had experienced an encounter with the Living God.
God had confronted Jacob, and led him to make a new commitment--a vow that the Lord, the God of
redemption and salvation, would always be His God!
God gave Jacob a new life, a new beginning, a fresh start, a brand new day to live!
Immediately after Jacob had his encounter with God, Jacob began to search for what was to become his
There is always joy when we are converted and begin a new life, or make a new commitment to God.
And when this happens to us, we need to do exactly what Jacob did.
We need to search for our new family--the family of God, the family of the church.
Because we need each other’s fellowship, help, and encouragement!
We need to join together in studying God’s Word, and in our service and witness for the Lord!
As the Bible says in Hebrews 10:25: “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing,
but let us encourage one another.”
Think of a campfire.
When all the logs are placed together properly....each log contributes to the fire and continues to burn.
When you take one of the logs away from the fire...what happens to that log?
It goes out...doesn’t it?
The same goes for the Christian....there is no such thing as a successful, lone-ranger Christian!
We must stay together, fellowship together, learn from each other, and burn brightly together if we are
going to survive.
As soon as I gave my life to the Lord, I immediately searched out for other Christians.
One day, I was walking across campus when I saw a flier: “Bible Study--Wednesday nights at 6:30.
These people soon became my new family.
Anyway, back to Jacob....
He went to his mother’s brother...a shifty guy named Laban.
Here’s another thing we need to keep in mind....there are a lot of “wolves in sheep’s clothing” out there....
...So, it is very important that we become involved with a theologically sound fellowship of Christians--lest
we be led astray!
And it is especially easy for the newly converted to be led astray...because they have not yet matured in
their faith....and have not yet learned the Scriptures.
Anyway, let’s return again to Jacob....
Laban, the brother of Rebekah, the grandson of Nahor, was overjoyed to welcome one of his own flesh and
....and perhaps Laban was impressed by the strength of Jacob, and thought he might make a good
And almost certainly, Laban considered Jacob to be a possible husband for one of his two daughters.
Leah and Rachel were both eligible, and Laban never missed an opportunity to drive a hard bargain.