Summary: Being an Authentic Follower of Jesus: Mission Minded Mercy
Being an Authentic Follower of Jesus:
Mission Minded Mercy
May 30, 2010
Jesus’ weeping over Jerusalem is his response to his entry into Jerusalem. The crowd cheers because they think they have a military and political leader; Jesus sheds tears because they have and will reject him as the Suffering King. Yet in spite of this, Jesus sheds tears over their hardness of heart. I don’t know about you, but my tendency is to reject those who reject me. My natural response is not weep over them but to protect myself. I think we all naturally do that but Jesus models something different for us – a mission minded mercy that moves toward those who are hurting, even when they are against us.
Big idea – Mercy must be directed toward our mission of transforming lives.
Three things about Jesus’ mercy that I want to share with you today.
Jesus’ Mercy is Tenderly Moved
Jesus feels real sorrow over the situation. As you read the gospels about Jesus heading to his death, they make it clear that He is in control and that He is going to his death according to God’s sovereign plan. He tells his disciples, in detail, how to find a donkey for him to enter Jerusalem with, about finding a room to celebrate the Passover, and he predicts the details of Peters’ denial. Over and over he tells them that the Scriptures must be fulfilled. God is in control and bringing about his purposes. Do not ever think that things are out of control – geopolitically, economically, or in your own life – God is still bringing about his purposes to this day. Yet Jesus is shedding tears over their hardness of heart and their rejection of his Kingship. God is not some unattached being who is controlling the events of the universe in his wisdom without feeling the pain and the consequences of his plan. So even though things are going according to plan – Israel rejecting their King - He is still sorrowful because mercy was on a mission.
Jesus’ Mercy is Self Denying
Jesus’ mercy was self denying even though it was painful in short term because in the long term it fulfilled the plan of God. He is intentionally moving toward suffering and death (18:31-33). Ministry is not always pleasant or fun but it is rewarding in the long term.
Self denial means that we see the need and move toward it whatever it costs me. Jesus did that - seeing the sin of world, broken bodies, souls captive to Satan, the misery of hell and He was moved toward the cross. Have you ever spent ten minutes, just ten, trying to grasp the misery of hell? He denied a life of comfort and security and ease and deliberately embraced suffering to avoid suffering in the lives of others, you and me. What is your response to someone when they want your help and it is inconvenient or it is a hassle or it costs you something? Mission minded mercy requires you and me to reject the drift toward a life of comfort, security, ease, and of avoiding the pain of others to be merciful. Jesus’ tears were tears not just of the moment but tears of a man on a mission.
Jesus’ Mercy intends to help
Jesus intended to help because mercy is helpful. It is not just a feeling (though it does feel), it is not just denying of self (though it does deny self), it actually does things that help resolve the source of suffering and pain. It does so because that is love even if it is painful and tough for the recipients in the short term (Mark 10:21). Jesus died in our place that we might be forgiven and have eternal life that is how he helped. In that same way we should be merciful toward the pain and suffering of others and not seek to remove ourselves from it both locally and globally.
What about us what will we do? What ministries of mercy could we participate in or start? What could we do to move outward from ourselves toward others who are in pain, are suffering, so that we multiply their joy and your own in the process? Do we live our lives around convenience, our own needs and desires, our own comfort, or by the mission and purpose God has give all of us. God has called the church, includes every one of us, to make disciples. So our mission statement says that.
As a worshiping community, we seek to transform lives by winning people to Jesus Christ, training them to be followers of Christ and sending for local and global impact. In short, we seek to win, train, and send.
Our existence revolves around our mission not our own needs and desires. We exist primarily for our mission not maintaining our organization. So when we seek God for what we are to do – in our ministries, programs, our buildings, it must revolve around our mission of making disciples, transforming lives not ourselves. God’s mercy drives us toward mission.