Summary: When I finish my sermon I want my audience to have a positive change of heart and thinking when it comes to why we are here and what we hope to accomplish as a church family
This background here, and the NEXT, is going to serve to remind us of what’s next at CCC.
Don’t forget those NEXT things! Remember? We’re going to give careful attention to...
• The next generation of believers
• The next generation of leaders in the church
• The next person who’s going to accept Jesus
• The next project we will throw ourselves into
• The next generation of leaders preparing for service
• The next time we get together to worship
• The next level of maturity in your faith
• The next surprise God has ready for you
Today, from Matthew 9, I want to take a look at a day in the life of Jesus.
Like you, He boots up His laptop, opens up Outlook, and has a look at His calendar for the day.
Let’s see…5-7 am, go away to a lonely place to pray. 7-8 am, heal a blind man and cast out a demon. 8-9 am teach the 12. 9-10 am rebuke the Pharisees. 10-noon teach the multitudes. Looks like another full morning! I’m not sure Jesus used a laptop and a calendar on Outlook, but I am sure He had full days!
In Mt. 9, Matthew has just told the story of his own life change. Jesus came and called this no-good tax collector to a changed life, so he followed Jesus, and threw a party at his house! So, Jesus gets criticized for trying to reach lost people. Mt. 9:14-34 happens in one day. It’s obvious Mt wants us to get a feel for what this is like. It goes something like this:
Today, Jesus is being called into question by, of all people, those who were disciples of JB.
Then, while Jesus is still dealing with that, a synagogue official named Jairus comes and bows in front of Him. He has an only daughter, age 12, so sick, that by the time he gets to Jesus, she’s most likely already dead. But he believes that if Jesus would just lay His hand on her she could recover. Jesus gets up to go to Jairus’ house, and the disciples and a crowd go with Him. On the way, there’s a woman who has had a bleeding problem for years. She thinks that if she could just touch the edge of Jesus’ robe she could be healed, so she does, and she is! Jesus stops and talks with her, and as He is, news comes from Jairus’ house. She’s dead. Don’t bother Jesus. But Jesus reassures Jairus, and they continue. Jesus isn’t intimidated by death. The author of life, the One Who breathed the breath of life into Adam, the one Who invented little girls, takes her by the hand and raises her back to life.
They leave from there, and someone brings a demon-possessed man to Him. Jesus casts out the demon. The crowds are wowed. The Pharisees condemn Him. None of this was on Jesus’ planner for the day, but it was all in one day’s work.
So, imagine that kind of a schedule, day after day after day. That’s the impression we get from Mt starting in vv35-36. Mark adds right here that Jesus even visited His old home town of Nazareth, for the last time – and the only thing He accomplished there was being amazed because of their lack of belief.
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Jesus knows His time on earth is very limited. There’s a world to be saved, and He’s going to be present to get it done in a 3.5 yr. ministry. Daily, He is surrounded by reminders of what sin has done to His perfect creation – a world made through Him - a perfect world without pain or death or anything sad. Now, it’s a world where whole cities are skeptical of the truth. It’s a world where men choose dishonest vocations to take advantage of other people. It’s a world where the so-called religious leaders, rather than shepherding the people, are just fleecing them, and rather than leading the people to Jesus, they‘re the ones leading out to get Him stopped. It’s a world where Satan’s angels take over people’s lives, where women have long-term illnesses, where men are reduced to blind beggars, where little 12yr old girls get sick and die.
Jesus faces this schedule for some period of time. Wave after wave of people and their messed-up lives keep coming to Him. He looks at them, and He gets that feeling in the gut – in His splangchna, remember – because they are “harassed and helpless.” English comes up short here. Other translations have “distressed and downcast”, “dispirited” “scattered” “troubled” “wandering” “fainting.” Like sheep with no shepherd. Picture a flock of sheep, surrounded by a huge pack of wolves. They run, panicked, surrounded, away from safety, until they can run no more. They’re exhausted, bruised, bleeding, and now they collapse. Unless someone steps in, they’re doomed.