Summary: Why care? What was Christ’s ministry about? What were the pillars of the church concerned about? What was Paul eager to do?
Illustrate Humor: Homer, a handsome dude, walks into a sports bar around 9:58 PM. He sits down next to this blonde at the bar and stares up at
the TV. The 10:00 news was on. The news crew was covering a story of a man on a ledge of a large building preparing to jump. The blonde looks at Homer and says, " Do you think he will jump?" Homer says, "You know, I bet he’ll jump." The blonde replied, "Well, I bet he won’t." Homer placed $20 dollars on the bar and said, "You’re on!" Just as the blonde placed her money on the bar, the guy did a swan dive off of the building, falling to his death.
The blonde was very upset and handed her $20 dollars to Homer and said, "All is fair. Here is your money." Homer replies, " I can’t take your money, I saw this earlier on the 5 o’clock news and knew he would jump." The blonde replies, "I did too, but I didn’t think he’d do it again!
Sermon Study 296 – DOZEN REASONS FOR COMPASSION
1. It was Christ’s purpose for His ministry:
Luke 4:18a "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
2. It was Jesus’ confirmation He was the Christ:
Mat 11:2-5 When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.
3. It was the mission of the early church Pillars (the 3 closest disciples to Jesus):
Gal 2:8-10 For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles. James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews. All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.
4. It is the only “religious activity” that God accepts:
James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
5. It will be remembered by God:
Acts 10:4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. "What is it, Lord?" he asked. The angel answered, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.
6. It is the evidence of God’s love:
1 John 3:17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?
7. It is the kind of fasting that God approves:
Isa 58:6-7 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-- when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8. It is the promise of rewards:
Prov 19:17 He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.
9. It is the promise of answered prayer:
Prov 21:13 If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.
10. It is the promise of blessings:
Prov 22:9 A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.
11. It is the promise of provision:
Prov 28:27 He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.
12. It is a mark of the righteous:
Prov 29:7 The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.