Summary: God has called us, His church, to be the hands and feet of Jesus to take His justice and mercy into the world, to minister to the lost, the poor and the broken.
DO SOMETHING #2: BE THE HANDS AND FEET OF JESUS
INTRO TO TOPIC: QUOTE: (Richard Stearns, The Hole in Our Gospel).
“There is much at stake. The world we live in is under siege – three billion are desperately poor, one billion hungry, millions are trafficked in human slavery, ten million children die needlessly each year, wars and conflicts are wreaking havoc, pandemic diseases are spreading, ethnic hatred is flaming, and terrorism is growing…”
“Jesus healed the sick, loved the poor, touched the leper, stood up for the down-and-out, forgave the sinner, condemned the religious hypocrites, dined with prostitutes and corrupt tax collectors, challenged the wealthy and powerful, fought for justice for the oppressed, defied His culture, renounced materialism, demonstrated that greatness is found in serving – and then died that others might live. These actions – performed by one man – changed the world. These same actions, when carried out by His followers, still change the world today.”
KEY SCRIPTURE: WHAT DOES GOD EXPECT OF US?
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8, NKJV).
• If you memorize one Bible verse this year, let this be it!
• God has called us to be the salt of the earth and light of the world – let’s do it!
THE BIG IDEA: God has called us, His church, to be the hands and feet of Jesus to take His justice and mercy into the world, to minister to the lost, the poor and the broken.
I. A LOOK AT THE EXAMPLE OF JESUS:
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn.” (Isaiah 61:1-2).
• Jesus came to help social outsiders, the poor, the oppressed, and the excluded.
1. JESUS SHOWED COMPASSION TOWARD SOCIAL OUTSIDERS:
“When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean." Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” (Matt. 8:1-3).
“9 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, "Follow Me." So he arose and followed Him. 10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, "Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" 12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matt. 9:9-13).
• Jesus was called the “Friend of Sinners” because He accepted everyone.
• We need to accept all people regardless of race, clothing, anything!
2. JESUS ADVOCATED FOR THE POOR:
“Then He also said to him who invited Him, "When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:12-14).
THE FACTS ABOUT THE POOR, THE OPPRESSED AND CHILDREN:
• Over three billion people live on less than $2.50 a day (1 billion less than $1 a day).
• 85 million child labourers are forced do dangerous work.
• Nearly 2 million children are exploited in the sex trade.
• Each day, over 6,000 children under age five die from diseases spread by unsafe water
3. JESUS RELEASED THE OPPRESSED:
“23 Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 saying, "Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are--the Holy One of God!" 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" 26 And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him.” (Mark 1:23-26).