Summary: Jesus calls us to start where we are and share the gospel story.
Start Here – Our Calling
* Lawrence Brotherton tells this story; “The Pastor asked an energetic young man to help him fill some vacancies in the Sunday School teaching roster. After looking over the church roll and determining who was available, he asked one man if he would help the Pastor by teaching a class of young boys. The man responded saying, "Let me think about it and pray over it. I'll let you know." After a week without the man's response, the man was asked again if he would take the job of teaching the young boys. Again, the man replied, "Let me think and pray about it. I'll let you know." After another week and still no response, when the man was asked again if he would teach the class of young boys, he replied, "I don't think I can take the class, because I don't think I am being called to teach." The young man replied, "What do you mean you aren't called to teach? I've called you three times myself."
* One of the most important happenings or events in our lives is a ‘call.’ It can be a call for a job, a date, about a loved one, or any such call – can be a ‘life-changer.’ Calls can be important. For every person comes a call from God, this call is ‘to know Him and be reconciled to Him.’
1. We are called to SHOW – What are we to show? We are to show them Jesus by doing what Jesus did. Take a journey in your mind by reading selected verses which tell us about Jesus. We read, “When He came down from the mountain” (8:1), “When He entered Capernaum” (8:5), “When Jesus went” (8:14), “As He got into the boat” (8:23), “When He had come to the other side” (8:26), “So He got into a boat” (9:1), “As Jesus went on from there” (9:9), “As He was telling them” (9:18), “As Jesus went on from there” (9:27), “Just as they were going out” (9:32), and to our text which says, “Then Jesus went to all the town & villages” (9:35); and this causes us to understand that Jesus was a man of action! The gospel of Matthew is not considered the most active account of Jesus’ life (that would be Mark), yet we always see Jesus in motion, in ministry, taking action on behalf of others. The calling we are given is to show this world our Lord Jesus by doing what HE did. He went, He preached, He taught, and He healed people wherever He found them. At this point, it was not a “Ya’ll Come” mentality, it was a ‘let’s go’ because this is the heart of Jesus.
* Over thirty years ago there was a Home Mission’s youth musical entitled “Joy,” It began with an opening song which called us to “Go where the people are near or far.” Today, we are in an NAMB emphasis which calls us to ‘Start Here’, right where we are. We do this with our time, our talents, our moneys, our surrender, and our sacrifice. It is in this way that we show our Lord Christ to those who need to know Him.
2. We are called to SEE – Every time I read in scripture about this thing of ‘seeing’, my mind races to the words of Jesus in Mark when he asks, “Do you have eyes, and not see, and do you have ears and not hear?” And also I think back to Matthew when our Lord quotes Isaiah 6, “You will listen and listen, yet never understand; and you will look and look, yet never perceive. For this people's heart has grown callous; their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn back — and I would cure them.” It takes no imagination to understand that our Lord Christ wanted and wants us to see people like HE SEES people.
* Verse 36 tells us that “When He saw the crowds (multitudes), He was moved with compassion.” There is so much that we need to grasp from this couple of phrases that it can make our ‘spiritual heads spin and our hearts break.’ First, make a note that we are called to ‘see’ like Jesus did and then we are called to ‘feel’ like Jesus did. However, for us to see like Jesus did we must go where Jesus went. Jesus didn’t see the multitudes in the confines of a disciples meeting out of the view of the public, He was out there among the very people who were ‘lost, weary, and worn’. His desire was to bring the Kingdom of God through the Gospel of God to those who so desperately needed to be reconciled to God. The only way He saw the multitudes was to watch people as He traveled. This is our call. Every day we meet many, who are in need of Christ, yet they pass through our lives & it rarely registers with us that they either know Jesus, follow Jesus, & are ready to meet God OR they know not the grace of God which destines them for an eternity of punishment. The question is how do you see people?