Dream word – VALUE
“But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, ‘It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.’ And they consulted together and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, ‘And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, and gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord directed me.’”
The words in our text for tonight are of course not recorded by Jeremiah at all. Nevertheless, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Matthew does say they were spoken by him. Matthew then immediately interjects a parenthesis from the prophet Zachariah, as a fuller and substantiating explanation as to the fact that the both incident and occurrence recorded here by him, was in fact a fulfilment of prophecy. This parenthetical interjection from the prophecy of Zachariah, was the price Israel put on Zachariah’s original and prophetic ministry, even the pitiful price of a common slave! In other words, Israel of old were saying Zachariah’s prophetic shepherding ministry was valueless and in the same way the leaders of Israel now were saying the same thing about the powerful prophetic ministry of the Great Shepherd of the sheep, Jesus Himself. In other words, the leaders of Israel, regarded the ministry of Christ as worthless.
So many shepherds even today have their ministry regarded as worthless. This is indeed reflected in the wages their congregations are willing to pay for them. Though it is less so than it was, there are still many congregations praying that God will keep their shepherds humble as they try and keep them poor.
Worse than that I suppose, is the dreadful Laodicean laziness of shepherds who make their own ministries worthless to their sheep by providing stale bread, poor protection and no real direction along the long march home. This worthless ministry might be clothed in boasting busyness and seeming success, yet I tell you, it is indeed worthless.
I suppose in both respects, such a valueless shepherding ministry can amazingly produce fine charnel houses and sculptured ossuaries, but in the end, they rarely produce life and have simply become fields full of dead men’s bones. The churches left in the United Kingdom at the beginning of the twenty first century are ample testimony of this and I wonder if a contributing factor to this was poor preaching and even poorer shepherding?
My fellow sheep, may I encourage you tonight to encourage your shepherds in words and in deeds in their ministry toward us. My fellow ministers, may I encourage you tonight to labour such amongst the sheep of your pasture that your ministry would be greatly valued. For you see, the absence of good ministry which the absence of good shepherds bring with it, means the sheep of God shall essentially be sold into slavery Whatever you do Pastor and church member, do not turn the green pastures of God, running beside the silver springs of still waters, into meadows of murder where wolves run wild.
Listen: Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially those who labour in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain," and,"The labourer is worthy of his wages." - 1 Timothy 5:17-19 NKJV
Pray: Father, help me to rightly value those ministries and ministers of eternal preciousness, in Jesus name I pray, amen.
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