Summary: How to make the angels laugh (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
How to make the angels laugh – Pt 2
Reading: Luke chapter 15 verses 1-10
(1). The first thing needed for reaching the lost is compassion.
• Jesus had the "tax collectors and sinners" gathering around him.
• Notice these are lost people who were not running from Jesus but rather running to him.
• They were not avoiding him, ignoring him, or even hostile towards him.
• Verse 1 says that they were "gathering around to hear him."
Question: Why were sinners so willing and even eager to listen to Jesus?
• It certainly wasn’t because Jesus had an easy message that tickled people’s ears.
• Jesus message had a cutting edge to all those who listened.
• It wasn’t because Jesus compromised on their sinful lifestyles;
• And said that everything they were doing was acceptable.
• It wasn’t because Jesus was putting on;
• Some sensationalistic show of signs and wonders.
• In Luke’s narrative the emphasis is on Jesus’ teaching,
• And not on his miracles – they are hardly even mentioned.
• Why did the "lost" seek out Jesus rather than run from him?
• I believe the answer is they recognised his compassion.
• Unlike the Pharisees who showed a condemning attitude.
• Jesus showed a loving attitude – he showed compassion to these people!
• The Bible says in verse 2 that Jesus:
• "Welcomes sinners and eats with them."
• One of the definitions for the Greek word translated as "welcomes";
• Is to "receive as a friend."
• When D.L. Moody was directing a Sunday School in Chicago;
• One boy walked several miles to attend;
• Somebody asked him;
• “Why don’t you go to a Sunday School closer to him?”
• He replied;
• “Because they know how to love a fella over there”.
This was the attitude of toward those who were lost in a sinful lifestyle:
• He did not come to judge (to point the finger);
• But he did come to save (to forgive and renew).
• Jesus welcomed them;
• He was compassionate and accepting of them despite their sins and faults.
• He was a friend and not a foe.
• Jesus had a attitude that lost people were attracted to,
Question: Do we?
• For us as individuals and as a church if we are ever going to reach people;
• We are going to have to show and have that same love and acceptance.
• A friend of mine who is a police officer,
• Often responded to traffic accidents, some of them with very severe injuries.
• At the scene of these accidents there are three groups of people,
• Each with a different response toward those involved in the accident.
• The first group is the bystanders and onlookers.
• They are curious and watch to see what happens but have little active involvement.
• The second group is the police officers,
• Their response was to investigate the cause of the accident, assign blame,
• And to give out appropriate warnings and punishments.
• The third group is the paramedics.
• They are the people usually most welcomed by those involved in the accident.
• They couldn’t care less whose fault the accident was;
• And they did not engage in lecturing about bad driving habits.
• Their response was to help those who were hurt.