Date: October 1, 2000
Topic: Ministering to the whole person
Read: Mtt. 9:35-38
A farmer was out plowing his field one spring morning. The spring thaw
had just occurred and there were many muddy valleys in the field. Through
one particularly wet place his tractor became stuck in the mud. The
harder he tried, the deeper he became stuck. Finally, he walked over to
his neighbor's to ask for help. The neighbor came over and looked at the
situation. He shook his head, and then said, "It doesn't look good, but I
tell you what. I'll give it a try pulling you out. But if we don't get
it out, I'll come sit in the mud with ya!"
Have you tried "mud-sitting" with a friend? It may be the best thing
you can do!
I have preached on Matthew 9:35-38 many times, but the Lord has helped me
to see it in a brand new way this week.
Underline four two letter statements:
Jesus went (35)
He saw” (36)
He had” (36)
He said” (37)
I. Christ Went To the People (vs. 35)
A. He took the primary responsibility to minister to the people's
spiritual need by going to them.
· Wouldn't the salvation story be totally different if Christ waited
for people to come to him?
o What would happen if he sat out on a stone and waited for the hurting,
the needy, the spiritually sick to come to him?
o What would happen if today the Holy Spirit did not come to us to convict
and to lead us to grace and forgiveness?
· Christ took the first step to go to the people so ministry could occur.
B. He took the initiative to enter their setting
· Galilee during Christ's time was not all a placid and peaceful
setting. It had large cities, teaming with people from many nations. It
use to be called the Galilee of Nations.
· Christ intentionally entered into the lives of these people:
· He worshipped with them in their synagogues
· He went to weddings with them
· He worked with them on their fishing boats
· He helped harvest the fruits of the field
· He laughed with them when one of them made a joke
· He cried with them with one of them died
· Christ knew who they were and their personal pains because he purposely
entered their daily lives.
· Some of the most meaningful ministries I have been involved in, have
been outside my comfort zone.
· Do you really think all of the situations Christ found himself in made
him totally comfortable?
· Preaching in synagogues where people did not believe as he did
· Caring for the sick and diseased.
ILLUST: Allan Emery came from a very wealthy family. He had an
experience which made a deep impression upon him. His father received a
call saying a well-known Christian had been found at a certain place drunk
on the sidewalk. Immediately his father sent his chauffeured limousine to
pick the man up, while his mother prepared the best guest room. My friend
watched wide-eyed, as the beautiful coverlets were turned down on the
exquisite, old, four poster bed, revealing the monogrammed sheets.
"But, mother," he protested, "he's drunk. He might even get
"I know," his mother replied kindly, "but this man has slipped and
fallen. When he comes to, he will be so ashamed. He will need all the
loving encouragement we can give him."
It was a lesson the son never forgot.
C. He went to them with all sorts of methods
Three separate words were used to describe Christ ministry to the people:
He was involved in Teaching; Preaching; and Healing.
· Its really not necessary to spend time defining what each one of these
mean in ministry, but I believe there is a significant lesson here:
o Christ was willing to employ whatever means possible to minister to the
§ In some situations he was only able to study the Bible with them
§ Sometimes they allowed him to preach in their own synagogues
§ Sometimes people would come to him and without a large sermon he would
reach out and touch them, healing the wound.
· I wonder how many opportunities for ministry we miss because we are
stuck on only one method?
Oh. So sorry. I can't do that because someone else is in
charge of doing that!
· I wonder what would happen if we were so in tune to the moving of the
Holy Spirit that we were willing to do whatever it took to bring someone
II. Christ Really Saw them (36)
ILLUST: Have you noticed that there is a difference between hearing and
listening? I have found myself coming home from work and sitting down in