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Summary: Let's talk for a few moments about Jesus as our Comforter; 2ndly, about Jesus as our Protector & Deliverer; 3rdly, about Jesus as a Prosecutor; & finally, about Jesus as the Great Physician. (Powerpoints available - #298)

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MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER

RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK

(Powerpoints used with this message are available at no charge. Just email me at mnewland@sstelco.com and request #298)

ILL. In the records of court trials in Richmond, VA, Trial #761 253 is a case between Mary Green God & David & Eva Hurt. The gist of the trial is this: Mary Green God had a piece of land she wanted to sell, & David & Eva Hurt wanted to buy it.

They agreed upon a price & the transaction was finalized only to find, after the money was paid, that Mary Green God did not have clear title to the property. So David & Eva Hurt took Mary Green God to court.

What caught my attention was the title of the trial as listed in the court records. Court case #761 253 is entitled, "God vs. Hurt."

As I read that I wondered if there is anybody in our area named "God." So I got the Telephone Directory & looked for someone named "God." I didn't find anybody.

Then I went to the much larger NW Arkansas Directory, but I still didn’t find anyone with the last name of “God.” I found Godby & Goddard & Godwin, but I didn't find anybody by the name of "God."

Then I looked for "Hurt" & found a number of people named "Hurt" Franklin Hurt, Gerald Hurt, Ike Hurt, Jimmy Hurt, & several more. There are a lot of families whose last name describes the way many people feel much of the time.

A. "God Vs. Hurt" I think that's an interesting theme for a sermon. There is a lot of pain & suffering. Yet the Bible tells us over & over again that God loves us.

But words can express only so much. So God decided, "I will show them how much I love them," & He came to earth to live among us.

With that in mind, God used the prophet Isaiah to describe the ministry of the coming Messiah. And one day Jesus read this passage out loud to the people in His home synagogue in Nazareth, & told them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." (Luke 4:21)

Jesus is the fulfillment of this prophecy. Isaiah 61:1-3 says, "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.

“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives & release for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor & the day of vengeance of our God,

"to comfort all who mourn, & provide for those who grieve in Zion to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, & a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." (Isaiah 61:1 3a)

B. Now according to that prophecy, what did Jesus come to do? Basically, two things: #1, to help those who are hurting to give them freedom & gladness & praise instead of mourning & despair; & #2, to proclaim “the day of vengeance of our God.”

PROP. So this morning, let's talk for a few moments about Jesus as our Comforter; 2ndly, about Jesus as our Protector & Deliverer; 3rdly, about Jesus as a Prosecutor; & finally, about Jesus as the Great Physician.

I. JESUS AS OUR COMFORTER

Look again at part of our text this morning: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me… He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted… to comfort all who mourn, & provide for those who grieve…”

Scripture teaches us that Jesus is able to be our comforter because He really understands us.

I came across a poem that says it better than I can say it. It goes:

"If only God would speak with us, oh, every single week with us.

If He would tell us what to do. Then surely we'd come through.

If only God would stay with us, each night & working day with us,

Stand by us in the mud & spill some holy blood.

If only God would hurt with us & wear a common shirt with us.

Remove His robe of gold, & shiver when it's cold.

If only God would sup with us, break bread & drink the cup with us.

Share time with us & then resume His throne again."

Jesus has done that. And because He has, He is able to comfort. He knows what it is to be hurt. He knows what it is to be cold. He knows what it is to be lonely. And because He understands, He can comfort us. He can help us when we hurt.

Now I realize that when we look out over any congregation that there are all kinds of people present, & different kinds of hurts.

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