For many years ancient Jews longed for the time of the Messiah. He was the one who would come with great power and majesty to deliver his chosen people from the hands of the heathen Romans. I’m sure that many of us can relate to their most human desire. Who of us, sometime in our lives, longed to be rescued from trouble by some miracle working doctor, a more powerful colleague or at least a friend in “high places” who could use their power and influence to change our situation. The prophecy of Ezekiel though focuses our attention on a different type of Messiah. “The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy, shepherding them rightly” Ezekiel 34:16. This reflects a reversal of thought. What was to be admired and longed for: “the sleek and the strong” is somehow viewed as undesirable. And the “undesirables,” those afflicted and thought stricken by God are to be sought out rather than ignored. The appearance and ministry of Jesus confirms this prophecy. Many who were “high and mighty” thought that Jesus should be spending his time with them to be recognized, admired, applauded and somehow needful of their attention and affirmation. However, Jesus paid attention to those who were thought to be the product of sin; those who were afflicted with disease and less than desirable by most. Yet even to this day, this is where Jesus is to be found. We are challenged even today to model in ourselves the attending spirit of Jesus and recognize him in today’s undesirables.
“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers or sisters of mine, you did for me” Matthew 25:45. Let us cease looking for a powerful one to rescue us. Instead let us find the Lord already in our midst and minister to His needs especially in the least likely people and places.