0900: Learning to Walk His Walk
Series: 24: A Day in the Life of Jesus
March 19, 2006
**** “24” video clip on special ops.
I’m going to give you a opportunity to be a CTU agent today and train for a covert operation (just like the one you just saw!) This is of course a training session. Your assignment (should you choose to accept it) is to identify each of the following occupations, just by eavesdropping in on the conversations you hear around you… Are you ready? Okay, I’m going to give you an “Eavesdropping Accuracy Test”. I want you to identify for me the occupation of each of the following people by hearing only a short fragment of a sentence they’re speaking. Now for national security purposes, it’s important that you listen very closely…
Scenario #1: Imagine going into a restaurant and sitting in a booth. Behind you, you hear the following words… “Interfaces to service modules as data base handlers can be packaged using macros”
a. Computer programmer
b. Fed X delivery driver
Scenario #2: Same restaurant 1 hour later…2 more people are behind you…and one says to the other… “Spec buying has pretty much squeezed the shorts out of the action” –
c. An Underwear salesman
If you’ve ever dealt in stock market, you know that’s a ‘stockbroker’.
Scenario #3: Same restaurant 2 ½ hrs. later (the waitress is beginning to look at you strangely)… you overhear one person saying to another… “50% of the line is a facultative placement and the other 50% is on a tree with an excess loss provision of 1.2 million.” –
a. College professor
b. Tree Trimmer
c. Insurance salesman
How many of you would say he’s a Insurance salesman? You’re right!
Scenario #4: You’re on the elevator you hear one person talking to another… “He’s going to require and equilibration, before any final restoration”
c. Nazi torture specialist
If you said a “Nazi torture specialist”, you’re very close. It’s actually a dentist!
How many got all 4 right so far? (some of you present a security risk to the U.S.!) It’s amazing to me how when you’re in these situations, casually eavesdropping… that you can usually come up with some pretty accurate conclusions about what a person believes, and maybe even what they do for a living. When certain phrases are said, you can tell what that persons into. Well, let me give you a few more phrases that are dead give-aways this morning… For example… when you hear a person put the words, “God” and “Damn it” together in a sentence… you can tell certain things about that person. They probably don’t have much respect for the person they’re talking to…or the person they’re talking about!
“God! Oh My God!… Oh God!”… this person probably doesn’t realize they’ve just broke one of the 10 commandments because they’re using the holy name of God as a common expression of shock and awe!
This morning and all this month we’ve been tracing a single day in the life of Jesus, so that not only we can learn how he lived… but so we can learn how to live the same way. If this morning you call yourself a ‘disciple’ or a ‘follower’ of Jesus Christ…
…then there are certain things that we’d expect to come out or your mouth and life. Eph. 4:29 tells us not to let “any unwholesome (foul, offensive) talk to come out of our mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs. We’re going to talk a lot today about meeting others needs, but it starts with our language.
A disciples all consuming desire is to 1st of all learn how to “talk like Jesus talked”, and then to “walk like Jesus walked”. Not by using our own strength, but by allowing Christ to live in and through us! To say you’re a ‘follower’ of Jesus Christ, and never have it affect either the way you ‘talk’ or the way you ‘act’… is kind of a joke! And the jokes on you, because you’re deceiving yourself! We know who ‘are’ and who ‘aren’t’ disciples of Jesus, by what they ‘say’ and by what they do! There should be a difference between a person of “The Walk” and a person of “The World”. Last week we talked about how Jesus spoke… This week we want to see what he did!
As we pick up where we left off in this 24 hour day in the life of Jesus… you’ll notice that He didn’t just teach in the synagogue and then just go home… No! Instead, in vs. 29, he immediately puts his words into action! Mark tells us that…” …as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. –Mark 1:29 (NKJ)
And so the first thing I want you to see about the ministry of Christ is that…
1. Jesus’ ministry was STRATEGIC
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Jesus, it’s that everything he did… he did for a reason! Every action he took was calculated for maximum impact. Peter was a married man, and so he, his wife, and his wife’s mother all lived in the same house. (no mother-in-law jokes here!) Jesus was choosing to use Peter’s house as the headquarters for his ministry while in Capernaum.
When Jesus preached his 1st sermon at Nazareth, he read from Isa. to announce what the priorities of his ministry would be… READ Lk.4:18-19 records the incident… (READ). As I read that passage, did you notice how Jesus emphasized that his focus would be on meeting needs and healing hurts of people? Jesus had good news to share and so people wanted to hear it!
Not only did Jesus offer practical benefits to those who listened to him and put His words into action. His truth would “set people free” and bring all sorts of blessings into their lives! It’s still true! If you watch how Jesus operated in his ministry…you’ll notice that whenever he came across people…he always started with their hurts, needs and interests.
Take Peter’s mother-in-law for instance. The minute he entered their home, they realized something was wrong. Here it was, the Sabbath and usually every Jewish home had a huge dinner prepared. But when they walk in the door, instead of smelling the sweet aromas of dinner cooking, Peter’s apologizing… “Uh, Jesus, I’m sorry the meal isn’t prepared, but my wife’s really busy at the moment caring for her mother…she has a very bad fever.” And this isn’t just any old fever, Luke in his book calls it a ‘great fever’. This lady was on her death bed! As soon as Jesus hears this, he didn’t waste any time… here was a need He could meet… and so he walks into her room… goes over to her bed and lifts her up!
Now, if you’ve ever had a bad fever, you know that after it’s gone, it takes a little while for you to regain your strength… but not this lady! Immediately she gets up, goes into the kitchen, and starts preparing the Sabbath meal! Wow! Just that quick, the fever was over! We’ve all been there haven’t we? We’ve had a problem we couldn’t solve, or maybe we were hurting, (either physically, or emotionally)… when all the sudden Jesus walks into our lives and lifts us up! He heals us of something we couldn’t heal ourselves of. Very few people who come to Jesus are looking for truth; they’re looking for relief!
So Jesus strategy was to meet the felt need, (whether it was leprosy, or blindness, a mother-in-law who was sick)… And then after the need was met, people were always anxious to know the truth about this man who just helped them with a problem they couldn’t solve.
Now, what’s great about this story is that as a result of Jesus meeting her need, (out of gratitude) Peter’s mother-in-law begins to meet others needs! Maybe she couldn’t preach or heal like Jesus … but using her gift of service… she did what she could. I don’t know if you’ve ever watched the Andy Griffith show, but I imagine her like Aunt Bee, buzzing around, feeding Jesus and his dozen hungry disciples. It was a great time of joy around the table that day! That’s the model… Jesus heals us, and out of gratitude we go out and heal others! When we’re hurting, (either physically, or emotionally)… we’re not interested in cheap words…we want results!
A lot of people say things like, “I don’t want to come to God, because it would look like I’m using Him. I’ll wait until things get better, before I come to Him for help!” Guess what… things will only get worse without God in your life! I’m going to go out on a limb, and say that not one person here this morning came to God because they were primarily looking for truth…(shock you?) …you know what we were looking for? RELIEF! We needed help! We didn’t come to him with impure, unselfish motives! No! We messed up and we needed a way out! There’s no shame in coming to God this morning because of a crises in your life. In fact, let me ask you this…How do you know that God didn’t allow that crises so that you’d put down your pride, and come to Him for the answer? See, as long as we think we have our act together, before we come to God… we’ll never come to God! So many times, He’ll knock the props out from under our lives in order to get our attention!
A lot of people who are kind of bummed out when they see the shape our world is in today. But you know what? I’m kinda excited! Not because of the pain… not because of the hurt… but because of the possibilities we have before us!
Romans 5:20 says, “Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds!” What that tells me is that no matter how big the problems of our society get…God’s love and grace are bigger! I guess what I’m saying is this… it doesn’t matter WHY you come to Christ… what matters is that you come to Christ! It’s for that reason, I believe that any person can be won to Christ IF we can discover the key to his or her heart! Now every persons heart is different, and it may take some time to discover what that key is… But the most likely place to start, is with that persons felt needs. So what’s your need this morning? Jesus Christ wants to meet it!
As a result of this miracle, something amazing happened. In Jewish culture, you couldn’t do much until the Sabbath was over and the Sabbath was over at sundown. At a minute past sundown…(like shoppers lining up outside of Walmart on ‘Black Monday’)… the whole city showed up at Peter’s door! Why? So they and their loved ones could be healed! READ vs. 32 with me! That evening, after the sun went down, the people brought to Jesus all who were sick and had demons in them. 33 The whole town gathered at the door. “ – Mark 1:32 The Greek verb for “brought” means a continuous action… in otherwords… they “kept on” bringing them one after the other… late into the night!
Now Jesus had already had a full day, and I’m sure He was physically tired, but He didn’t let that stop him. He didn’t have his disciples send them away… He gave himself away to them! Which is the 2nd characteristic of Jesus’ ministry…
2. It was SELFLESS
So if we’re going to do what Jesus did, it means we’re going to have to give ourselves away to others. Now, why should we live beyond ourselves? Why should we be interested in ‘good deeds’… when most people’s chief goal in life is ‘good times’? Well, the best way I can answer that question is by showing you a vs. from
Eph.2:10 (READ) “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” According to that vs. it’s been God’s plan since the beginning of time to create a people who would do good works!
God’s destiny for you and for me… is to do good. In Titus 3:14, as Christ followers, we’re told that we “…must learn to devote ourselves to doing what is good, in order that we will not live unproductive lives.” Paul says, “If you’re a follower of Christ, it’s your duty to do good! To focus your life on doing anything else is a horrible waste of God’s grace!” When you go home in a little while…do good in your home. Do good to your spouse. Do kind deeds for your children. Teens…do kind deeds for your parents. And when you’re around your neighborhood, be kind to your neighbors. Do good deeds there. When you go to work on Monday morning, don’t take a ‘nasty pill’ and go in there and start beating on people. Say, “Hey, this where God has put me for now. So I’m not going to complain… I’m going to figure out how to do good around here!” When you go to a restaurant, do good to the people who are serving you. (don’t be cheap with your tip!) When you come to church, do good deeds here. Say kind words here. Because that’s what God saved you to do! If every person who calls themselves a follower of Christ would do that, little by little… the world will change!
The bible tells us in Gal.6:9… “ We must not become tired of doing good. We will receive our harvest of eternal life at the right time if we do not give up. When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it. But we should give special attention to those who are in the family of believers.”
Like Jesus, we’re encouraged “not to grow weary of well-doing…” Why? Because…there’s a harvest if we don’t give up! I know people who’ve done that! They’ve given up! They got ‘burned’ or they decided the hassle was too great, so they plant themselves on a pew somewhere and now they’re just spectators! The bible warns us against that attitude!
That’s not being a follower of Christ! Some of you’ve been attending this church for a long time, others of you having been serving in a ministry for a long time…If you’ve ever been involved in ministry, you know it’s not always easy. There’s lots of obstacles…
· Sometimes you get criticized for doing good.
· Sometimes you don’t get appreciated for doing good.
· Sometimes nobody wants to help out, so it gets discouraging.
As a result… we lose focus. We begin to blame the people we’re supposed to be serving. (I know! I’ve been there!) Paul knew all about that too, so he encourages us to keep our eyes on the goal… to remember why we do what we do. We do it for the person who did everything for us, and the promise He gave of eternal life. We’re doing it for Him and He’s not a debtor to anybody! We’ll be MORE than compensated for our service! It may be tough now… but believe me… it’ll be worth it in the end! So Jesus’ ministry was ‘selfless’… and if we’re going to ‘walk His walk’… ours has to be the same way!
3. Jesus’ ministry was… SPREAD OUT
According to vs. 34, Jesus didn’t just heal one kind of disease… but ALL kinds of diseases! “…and Jesus healed many who had various diseases.” In otherwords, Jesus’ healing powers weren’t limited to just ‘fevers’… he could heal anything…even demonic possession. You name it, He could heal it! Allergies, Alzheimer’s, ADD, Backpain, baldness, Cancer, cataracts, cardiac arrest, diabetes, deformities, depression, eyes, eczema, fibrosis, hepatitis, heart disease, kidney disease…and list goes on and on. I think you get the picture!
What that tells me is that if we want to walk like Jesus walked and do what Jesus did… our ministries need to be multi-faceted. We need to have all kinds of ministries to meet the needs of all kinds of people.
If you look at every growing church you’ll find they’ve figured out a way to meet the needs of people. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again…“Our church will never grow beyond our ability to meet needs.” The reason we hired a ‘Ministry Director’ is not only so we can develop the ministry teams we have… but so that we can develop ministries to meet every need in our community. (She’s doing a outstanding job!) A ministry is nothing more (and nothing less) than “meeting needs in Jesus’ name”. In case you didn’t know… at Mt. View we have a vision to reach people by meeting needs. I can see the day when we’ll have lit. 100’s of ministry teams, each one built around a specific need in our community…Divorce Recovery groups… groups for Women with Unsaved Husbands… Groups for Singles, Collegians, Mothers of Preschoolers. We could have a group called, “Empty Arms” for couples dealing with miscarriages and still-births. Because the needs are beyond number… the opportunities for ministry are beyond numbering. Again… you name it… Jesus can heal it!
You know what? If we’ll meet the needs of people in our community… we won’t HAVE to advertise! We won’t need ads in the Oakley Press, or Yellow Pages… because changed lives will be our greatest advertisement! Jesus showed us that if we’ll bring ‘healing’ to peoples lives…the whole town will show up at our door! We’ll have so many people we won’t know what to do!
So the first question is… what are the needs of our community?
What are the needs of our church? And then… how can we meet those needs? Talk about CARE Ministry…DARIN.
4. Jesus’ ministry was SENSITIVE
I don’t know if you noticed it or not, but Jesus didn’t plan to heal all those people. It was a totally spontaneous event. He reached out to one woman, healed her… and the next thing He knows, the whole towns showing up! That’s the way ministry is!
When you’re obedient to do what God puts in front of you… He opens up amazing opportunities for more! So when a person asks me, “How do you do the kind of good works God wants me to do?” My answer is simple… “However the Spirit leads.” You say, “Well that doesn’t help me a whole lot.” But it’s true! One of the greatest things about the Christian life is the mystical, guiding, whispering, prompting power of the Holy Spirit. As you go throughout each of your 24 hour days, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, (the same Spirit that healed Peter’s mother-in-law) is going to prompt you on how and when to do the good deeds he wants you to do. And not only that… He’ll empower you to do it! When disciples were sent out later, they came back and reported that they were able to do the same things they saw Jesus do! Amazing!
People are asking today, “Well, if God’s so concerned about all the hurt and pain in the world, why doesn’t He do something about it?” And the answer to that question is this… He already did! See, the answer to the question of suffering is found in one word, “INCARNATION”. Incarnation means… “God coming in human flesh”. Anybody here watch “Fear Factor”? I watch it for only one reason… the food! I want to see them eat things! (cow intestines, giant roaches, pureed crickets… you name it!) It’s totally gross & sickening to watch! But I do it anyway! Now imagine every single pain, every single rape, every single sin committed in the history of the world, (foul, smelly, rotton as it can be)… all rolled up in a ball… and eaten by God!
Fully tasted, fully digested and completely deadly. It’s sickening to watch. Just like the Crucifixion in the Passion movie was sickening to watch. But that’s what He was doing! See, the same God who created pretty little bunny rabbits, flowers and sunsets… allowed us to create a world of blood, guts and buzzing flies around the cross.
Because God is a loving God, He couldn’t just sit up in heaven and say, “Sorry you hurt guys!… I’ll pray for you!” , and then go on about His business! He had to do something about it… and He did.
He entered into all the agony and bore all the pain the world could dish out. He’s sitting beside us in our lowest places. He allowed Himself to be broken, like us. When we cry out, “I can’t take it anymore!”… He cries out, “Father, why have you forsaken me?”. When our deepest relationships fall apart… He understands, because he loved deeply and was rejected too! Every tear we cry, becomes His tear. He’s the one we love to hate… but He chose to love us in return. Once we choose to accept that love, he asks us to follow Him into a hurting world, bringing His love to a hurting and rebellious world. If God is in us (as we claim)… we can’t just sit idly by while the world spins towards hell… we have to do something! And by the power of Jesus living in our lives… WE CAN! Which leads to the 5th aspect of Jesus’ earthly ministry…
5. Jesus’ ministry was SUPERNATURAL
The things Jesus did were done only by the hand of God. Every person that was healed that day, knew that it was God who did it! Even the demons recognized who this was! Now, the only way we’re going to duplicate what Jesus did is by the hand of God. In a very real way, Jesus has entrusted a hurting world to our hands. When you look at your hands, what do we see? (mine’s kind of short and fat!) Seriously… when you look at your hands… what do you see?
· Do you sometimes see “busy hands”, too busy to reach out to the needy? I do!
· Sometimes we have “dirty hands”, our sinful habits are keeping us from reaching others for Christ.
· Maybe you have manicured hands and you’re afraid you might break a nail if you reach out to help.
· Some of us have careless hands, we’re too apathetic to realize our responsibility? I hope not.
· God pleads with us to have serving hands…hands that are moved by the hand of God to
She was born the youngest of three children in the former Yugoslavia in 1910. She joined a youth group, and by age 17 she knew that she wanted her life to be God guided.
She became a high school geography teacher, and was promoted to high school principal in 1944. But her career there was ended because she contracted tuberculosis. In 1948 she started an unofficial school for young children in the slums, and she combined teaching and medical care to nurse them toward health. In 1950 she rented a house with her own money so that people who were dying in the streets could be transported there and die with dignity.
She was one of the earliest pioneers of treating people with AIDS before the disease even had a name. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in1979. She died a household name in 1997. Her name? We know her by the name? Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. You might know her better as… Mother Theresa.
She wasn’t rich, and she wasn’t powerful… but because she let her hands be moved by the heart of God, our great-grandchildren and great great-grandchildren are going to know about her. Think about that! She won’t be remembered because she built a business or led an army… she’ll be remembered because she decided that her daily job description was going to be to “do good.” She put her work gloves on every day, and “did good” until her very last day. As a result she ennobled the lives of an entire generation, and motivated hundreds of thousands of people to higher levels of compassion.
Titus 3:8 says that every sincere follower of Christ should devote themselves to the same thing that Jesus did… doing good!
Titus 3:8, “Those who have trusted God must be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good.”
Now it’s important to know that it’s not BY our good works that we’re saved… but it’s FOR good works that we’re saved! The saving comes 1st. Right before the verse I gave you out of Eph.2:9 telling us that we’re created for good works, Eph. 2:8 tells us that the saving comes 1st!
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”