In social jargon, the “fifth wheel” is the person without a date or a mate. If that person happens to be you, you just might experience some uncomfortable moments. You might even feel like a “misfit” and wish you were home by yourself. These times could cause a person to feel worthless. If you read today’s scripture passages again, you might notice there is a little problem with the math. In Matthew, 1 coin buys 2 sparrows, but in Luke, 2 coins buys 5 sparrows. Shouldn’t 2 coins buy 4 sparrows? Yet, there it is, written in God’s Word, 5 sparrows. It is as if the 5th sparrow is worthless. As if because it cost nothing, it therefore has no value. But then, notice what the rest of verse 6 says: “Yet God does not forget a single one of them.” Always remember, everyone of us is important to God. Perhaps, we can’t preach like Billy Graham, sing like George Beverly Shea and maybe we haven’t been used of God to do miracles, but of this one thing, we can be sure. We are just as important to God’s eternal plan as any of those people. Abraham, Moses, Joseph, David, and Elijah all had their moments. But Jesus said: “None is greater than John the Baptist”.
**The idea for today’s devotional and the “math” problem was from a sermon entitled “Does God Know That I Exist?” by Rev. Eddie Herring, Prospect United Methodist Church,
Lawrenceville , GA
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. — Titus 2:11-14 NIV
When Jesus was born, “the grace of God that brings salvation appeared to all men”. The location and situation may not have been glorious from a human point of view, but from a heavenly point of view it was celebrated. A bright, magnificient star was placed in the sky and His birth was heralded to shepherds by an angel speaking to them. That angel was joined by a host of heavenly angels praising the birth of this Jesus.
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” — Luke 2:13, 14 NIV
I think it is safe to assume that there was a huge party going on in heaven. After all, the Creator of the universe had just fathered a Son. This Son would spend His time teaching us that “we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age”. He came in the flesh to give Himself “to redeem us and to purify for Himself His own special people”. These people (Christians) would be zealous to do good works. By His lifestyle and His death, He showed us the true meaning of love. Not just for a day, not just for a season, but every day 24/7/365.25.
38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.– Acts 10:38 NKJV
That is the example He set for us, to make “doing good” our lifestyle, not just a day or a seasonal event, but the complete and only reason He came to earth. And He is still here living inside us. It wasn’t just for a day or for thirty-three years, it was for eternity.