Summary: Let’s see how Jesus showed kindness, because I think those are the ways we need to learn to show kindness today. (PowerPoints available - #165
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(PowerPoints used with this message are available for free. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request #165.)
A. Two weeks ago I started a series of sermons based on 1 Corinthians 13, & we began to consider what Paul said was "the most excellent way" to live. And that "most excellent way" is the way of love.
In the first 3 verses of chapter 13, Paul said that love is more important than spiritual gifts, or knowledge, or faith, or generosity, or even a willingness to die for Christ. For even if we had all that, but did not have love, they would be as empty & useless as beating a gong outside a pagan temple.
Going on to vs. 4, Paul tells us that love is patient, that love has a long fuse, love is slow to boil, love counts down before it blasts off. Then he tells us that "love is kind." And that is what I want us to consider this morning.
B. If you were describing our world, would you describe it as a kind world? As we look at the things going on in our world we would probably answer "No."
ILL. I heard a story about a woman who was standing at a bus stop. She had just cashed her tax refund check, so she was carrying more money than usual & was a little bit nervous about that.
She glanced around & noticed a shabbily dressed man standing nearby. And as she watched, she saw a man walk up to him, hand him some money, & whisper something in his ear.
She was so touched by that act of kindness that she decided to do the same. In a burst of generosity, she reached into her purse, took out $10, handed it to the man, & whispered to him, "Never despair, never despair."
The next day when she came to the bus stop, there he was again. But this time he walked up to her & handed her $110. Dumbfounded, she asked, "What's this?" He said, "You won, lady. Never Despair paid 10 to 1."
APPL. Now I can't promise that every act of kindness will pay 10 to 1. At times kindness may even cost you something, & require sacrifices on your part.
C. So with that in mind, let's look at a couple of the clearest examples of kindness in the Bible. They are found in Luke 8:40-56. In this passage we see Jesus showing kindness to two people who are entirely different.
One is a man & the other is a woman. One is an outcast, poor & unknown. The other is rich & influential & the ruler of a synagogue. And yet, Jesus treats both of them with great kindness.
By the time of this story, Jesus had gained a great deal of fame & was at the pinnacle of his popularity. People respected Him as a healer & a teacher, & crowds were swarming around Him wherever He went.
But despite the pressures of popularity, despite the crowds constantly pushing in around Him, despite all the demands on His time, Jesus, in His kindness, stopped everything He was doing to help them & to meet their needs.
ILL. Cal Thomas wrote, "Love talked about is easily ignored. But love demonstrated is irresistible." Jesus not only talked about love & kindness, but He modeled it for us, too.
PROP. So let's look & see the ways Jesus showed kindness to them, because I think those are the ways that we need to learn to show kindness today.
I. JESUS EXPRESSED KINDNESS BY LISTENING TO THEM
A. First of all, Jesus expressed kindness by listening to people, by paying attention to their needs.
Listen to Luke 8:40-42. "Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed Him, for they were all expecting Him. Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came & fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with Him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about 12, was dying. As Jesus was on His way, the crowds almost crushed Him."
Now we're not told where Jesus was going. Probably He was on His way to some open place where He could teach & preach to the crowds surging around Him. And that was something very important to do.
But as soon as Jairus came & told Him about his daughter, the very next words we read are "As Jesus was on his way..." Evidently, Jesus immediately changed directions & started following Jairus because this little girl's situation was much more pressing than whatever else He had scheduled.
APPL. By the way, how well do you handle interruptions? Some people work best when they can concentrate on one thing & see it through to completion. They do not normally do 2 or 3 things well at the same time.