“People Need Jesus”
“Everyone, including us, is in need of a healing, loving relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Sunday Morning Sermon
VIDEO CLIP – LOST EPISODE “Enter 77” 3/07/07
Starting with: 36:06
Ending with: 40:33
Discussion: (Start with Title and Text)
We moved down to our house this week – which is a huge praise, the Lord. I returned the truck and of course you make small talk with the person checking the truck over for scraps and dings. I told him, I am a preacher at this church – his daughter goes to school across the street, and he lives on Greenbrook with his family. Listen, his response to me being a preacher was something I’ve never heard before. I’ve heard EVERYTHING – from the people who start talking like we are in the year 1611, to apologies after every cuss word – everything in between. His response was something like this – “I guess you would have a lot to preach to me about.” He isn’t active in church, and he feels guilty about it – but he believes that I, because of my status with the almighty, my oneness with the universe, or my purpose driveness – WHATEVER it is, He believes that we are different – opposites, against each other – in conflict with each other. That somehow I believe I am good, I believe that he is not good. Really, the truth of my belief is very different than that. I think we are all capable of a healing, loving relationship with Jesus Christ – I know for sure that some aren’t involved in that relationship, some are fighting it, and some simply embrace it.
Listen – what our church, our programs, the relationships we build, our desire to get people in here, it should communicate is that everyone, including us, is in need of a healing, loving relationship with Jesus Christ.
Turn with me, if you have your Bibles to (Advance) Matthew 9:1-8 (read)
There are really only two kinds of people in the world
I. The Sick
The man lying on the stretcher – the person in need of healing. We have stretcher guy around us everyday
a. He just takes on a different form – We need the eyes of God to see these people:
i. The father at the truck rental place – feels guilty about skipping church
ii. The bus driver who takes you to school – running from unforgiven, unconfessed sins
iii. The person who drives slow in the fast lane -- YEAH
iv. The young man who lost his father – angry, and justifiably so
v. The co-worker – Going through a divorce
Oh, wait you thought I was talking about heart conditions and broken pinky fingers – NO -- God is concerned with our physical health – He is uniquely concerned with our spiritual health.
These men cared enough about this man that – they peeled the tiles off the roof because the front door was jammed with people.
b. Wouldn’t it be neat
i. If we were surrounded by people who didn’t give up at the front door
ii. If we were surrounded by people who cared enough – who had enough vision for our lives to say – “Let’s go to the roof”
They didn’t form a committee and hold meetings, they didn’t make excuses, they didn’t give up or justify their lack of effort, they didn’t bring up the past “The last time we tried to peel the roof off we created a big hole” or count the money in the roof fund– they simply peeled the roof off. I think sometimes, God surrounds us with – “Roof Peelers” to bring us to a relationship with Jesus. Maybe a better question:
c. Wouldn’t it be neat to be one of those people?
i. To not only love those around you – but have the vision enough to do anything to get those around to a loving relationship.
Notice the shift – instead of sitting on a higher horse and casting down judgement we go along side of them – and do whatever it takes. Wouldn’t it be a blessing:
ii. To be the person who explains what growing in Christ means
iii. To give someone hope – not only about heaven – I think our world needs hope for tomorrow.
It is my prayer that God will put you in a relationship with someone who either needs Jesus and you will go to the roof for that person or someone around you is willing to take extreme measures to get you to the roof.
Jesus sees the faith of these men – and tells the one lying on the mat: “Take heart, son….” Which means, basically, I’ve got the solution to the problem you have. The problem was pretty obvious – he’s on a stretcher – just came through the roof. Surely, Jesus is smart enough to know this man is physically sick: Jesus is smart enough to know that the problem is deeper:
d. Jesus tells him: Your sins are forgiven
This right here church separates Jesus – from everyone before him and those who have come after him. I’m a pretty nice guy, I clean up pretty good, I smell good. I could do a lot of things for you – pray with you, visit you when you are sick, preach sermons – but the second I suggest I can forgive your sins – I’m in a league of my own. Because at that point I’m nuts – a person guilty of sin can’t offer God’s forgiveness for sin. Only God can forgive sin – So Jesus was either God or he was one fry short of a happy meal. Either it was true, or he was an absolute crazy man. Let me tell you what I know – based on the evidence of God’s word – Jesus was able to and was concerned about the forgiveness of sin.
This leads to the second group of people: (Advance)
II. Everyone else
Either you are sick and you know it because of the situations around you or you’ve gotten pretty good at hiding and covering up. You are either lying on the mat or you’ve been on the mat at some point in your life.
a. Jesus forgives this man
Jesus was God, so he did what God could do he forgave the man’s sin. He also takes care of his physical needs – but we’ll get to that in a minute.
b. The religious leaders
i. They didn’t like this at all –
ii. They also knew what it meant – it was something punishable by death – stoning – it’s a right then kind of punishment too.
The number of people probably saved Jesus’ life – kinda hard to throw stones in a crowd.
c. Jesus knew
i. Their thoughts –
ii. Their hearts
Instead of being concerned with the man’s condition – they were concerned with their righteousness. Instead of being concerned with the man’s problem – they were concerned with their own advancement. After all – you can’t have Jesus gaining disciples, teaching relationship, teaching love, teaching growth, teaching the same law, just practically. He called their thoughts evil.
d. He answers them
i. Hey I did this to show you
1. My authority
2. God’s power
ii. By healing the man’s physical sickness
1. telling him to take up his mat and walk
Verse 7 says – The man got up and went home.
The crowd was filled with awe and they praised God – His reaction was to go home and the people who just simply witnessed it – their reaction was to praise and honor God.
I wonder what it was like to walk with Jesus. I wonder what it was like to hear him teach and show compassion. I wonder what it was like to see the miracles he did, to eat the fish, taste the bread and drink the good wine. It’s so easy to say – Jesus was so right and the teachers of the law were just clueless, stupid, and ignorant whatever you want to use to describe them. But I wonder if I would have been one of the ones praising God – or planning his death. Of course, we all side with the praising part – especially on Sunday morning. But are we really? Is that really where we are? Crowds of people were following him – Matthew chapter 9 – early middle part of his ministry. Church there were only a handful of people with him at the cross.
Here’s what I’m saying – Sometimes I think its easy to look at those around us and forget we were once on that mat in need of spiritual cleansing. More than cheerleading, and building self-esteem more than getting rid of this object or doing something to please undedicated people – I think we should remember that the world needs a savior – just like we need a savior – And while we aren’t perfect, while we don’t always do the right thing all the time – I know it’s more about taking the hand of those around us, taking the hand of God and walking. While we aren’t promised easy paths and gardens of blessing all the time – Know that he is with you regardless. Know that God loves you – and his love is so deep – that he sent his one and only son to pay a debt of sin for your life and mine. If you know that sacrifice, do something about it with the people around you. If you don’t – I encourage you to ask God for his wisdom.
We’re going to sing a song of invitation this morning – and it’s real simple. Maybe you look around and reflect on your life – and you are on the mat – in need of help. Maybe you just need prayer, maybe you need guidance with a situation or a relationship. Whatever it is – I know Jesus wants to work his will in your life – this would be a great time to accept that will, take his hand and walk with him every step of the way.
Maybe you were reminded of your time on the mat – nothing wrong with looking back – nothing wrong with an understanding of where you come from – it’s not easy – might even hurt a bit. Maybe you’ve found yourself in need of his grace and mercy again – nothing wrong with that either, unless you do nothing. God wants you to do something with this message – but it starts with us first. We have to correct ourselves. There is something absolutely holy about saying – I’m a sinner in need of a savior, wanting to be rescued from this life I’m living. We’re going to stand and sing.
If you have a decision to make this morning come.