Summary: This is part of the series Questions Jesus Asked in this message Jesus asks a question about the evangelism. Her we see the plan, the problem and the priority of sharing our faith.
Introduction: Video Clip – Evangelism Linebacker (Sermon Spice). That is one way to evangelize, but it may not be the best way to evangelize in our culture today.
The Evangelism Linebacker had a simple message EVANGELIZE OF ELSE! Why is evangelism such a priority? SIMPLE lost people matter to God and therefore lost people matter to us as well. Just as the Evangelism Linebacker had a mission to reach people, so did Jesus and no where is that truth more powerfully illustrated than in the Gospel of Luke.
Luke 4:43, Jesus said, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent."
Luke 19:10, For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.
To illustrate the idea that lost people matter to God – Jesus told 2 series parables one about a lost sheep and the other about a lost coin in these parables Jesus shares with us the plan the problem and the priority regarding evangelism.
Let’s note first…
1. The plan for reaching the lost
Luke records for us the plan of Jesus for reaching lost people
Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. Luke 15:1
Did you see the plan? It is so obvious we almost missed it.
A. Jesus enjoyed being with people.
If we are going to reach people for Christ, we must make it a priority to be around lost people. Luke tells us the sinners and tax collectors were gathering around Jesus. The Thompson Chain Reference Bible says there was an eagerness about the people. They wanted to hear from Jesus.
B. Note the people
Luke not only tells us people were around Jesus, he tells us the type of people who were around Jesus.
In other words, the outcast of Jewish society; the unmentionables and the untouchables. The ones the society had given up on Jesus was spending time with.
C. Not only was he spending time with them they were spending time with him.
The language of the text implies they found it a joy to be with him. We falsely assume people are not interested in what we have to say today. But that is simply not true. There is a hunger today for spiritual truth today. People want to know…
Is there hope
Can I find Peace
What about Joy
Is there more to this life than 70+ years
And the answer is yes – you can find peace, hope, joy and life – in Jesus Christ. Jesus said I have come that you might have life and have it to the fullest! John 10:10
D. People are searching but they do not know what they are search for
In the movie Forrest Gump, Forest and his Army buddy Lt. Dan are watching a Bob Hope Christmas Special on TV, as the special plays an obvious Christmas Carol Lt. Dan asks Forest “Have you found Jesus yet, Gump?” Forrest replies, “I did not know I am supposed to be looking for him sir!” Forest sums up our culture, people don’t know they are suppose to be looking for Jesus, that is why we must take Jesus to them. Remember Luke 19:10 the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost Jesus went to the people!
That leads us to
2. The problem with reaching the lost
Look at verse 2, But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
A. Their response was less than complimentary
“Muttered” literally they complained about what Jesus was doing. Have you ever noticed how many times people complain about something rather than helping out. Here are the broken outcast people of Israel coming to hear about God and the righteous – no the self righteous don’t see people all they see is problems.
This man welcomes sinners – Literally “makes a habit of being with sinners”
This man eats with them
Rather than be a part of the work of God they began to participate in the character assignation – they could not attack his teaching and they could not attack his miracles, so they chose to attack his character.
B. When it comes to reaching the lost I wonder if we are not like the Pharisees.
Do you find yourself sometimes complaining about church rather than seeking out how you can help? Do you say things in a hateful way that tears down the body of Christ rather than lifts it up? Have you ever said…?
If I was in charge I would have done it this way.
Why are they making all these changes?