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Summary: How to make the angels laugh (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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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?

Answer:

• 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!

Ill:

• 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."

Ill:

• 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.

ill

• 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.

(a).

• The first group is the bystanders and onlookers.

• They are curious and watch to see what happens but have little active involvement.

(b).

• 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.

(c).

• 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.


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