Summary: Jesus had surprising ministry
Intro: if you are from Alabama you claim a few famous people as outstanding people in this world. 2 singers from Birmingham have been American Idols. Willie Mays and Hank Aaron came from our state. For Tide fans there is Bear Bryant. But probably our two most famous of all because of the show they were on is Gomer and Goober. Golly Judy, Judy, Judy. Of course Gomer’s most famous line in his military job, surprise, surprise, surprise. If you look at the ministry of Jesus, you find three great surprises. He ministered to some surprising people, He ministered in some surprising places, and he had some surprising results.
I. Jesus ministered to some surprising people–
a. to the scribes and Pharisees-throughout his ministry he ministered to the religious people of his day. What is so surprising about that you might ask, he ministered to people who felt that they were beyond ministry. He shook them up by pointing out they needed to get right with God. He messed up their business as usual by saying their religious order wouldn’t get them to heaven.
b. to the rich and famous– he ministered to high ranking politicians, to tax collectors and to rich young rulers. You would think they wouldn’t need ministry because they were living the high life. That is the conception in our world today, if your are popular, rich, famous-then what else could you possibly need. But Jesus looked beyond the superficial into hearts and saw their deep needs of a right relationship with God that others couldn’t see.
c. plan old ordinary folks–fisherman, carpenters, etc. No one was too common or ordinary for Jesus to love and minister too. Jesus realized there are a lot more ordinary folks than any other group. Some people like ministering to the elite, but Jesus liked finding people that others would pass by.
*for a church to be a Jesus church it must reach who Jesus reached. A true minister must step on the toes of the religious. A true minister must not be intimidated by those of power and influence. A church must have a big target audience, the entire world that Jesus died for.
II. Jesus ministered in some surprising places–if Jesus walked the streets of America today in the flesh, he wouldn’t be a stained glass window guy. He liked to mix it up, he liked to show up in some unusual places. He surprised the religious people when he ministered in some places they thought were unacceptable for a true prophet of God.
a. He ministered at a Samaritan well–Jesus even shocked his own disciples when he chose to minister to an adulterous women at a well in Samaria. This was double jeopardy. Ministering to a woman, ministering to a Samaritan who Jewish people regarded as no counts.
b. He ministered at parties–this really upset those who felt ministry could only be done in a certain way or at a certain place. Because of this he was accused of being a wino and a glutton.
c. he ministered at a graveyard–he cast out the demons that were tormenting a man who lived among the tombs. Anywhere there were needs Jesus went to meet the needs of hurting people.
d. He ministered down dusty roads, he ministered in stormy seas, he told about God from the top of the mountain or in the middle of the desert. He loved people in the crowds, he loved people in a solitary place. He truly became all things to all people that by all means he might save some.
III. Jesus got some surprising results–
a. people dropped everything they were doing and left everything they had to follow him. It is so amazing to see the dramatic change that took place in people’s lives. He comes into your life and you are never the same. That is true today, that once Jesus comes into your life you become a brand new person.
b. the rich, the poor, the leper, the women, the children, the common man, the big politician, they all said like the soldier at the cross, truly this man is the Son of God. In the famous words of Peter, you are the Christ, the son of the living God.
c. people loved him so much they would give their lives for him, people hated him so much they took his life from him. With Jesus no one could ever stay neutral, they either loved him with all their heart, or rejected him with all their might.
d. the most surprising result of all–this one man, with about 3 years of ministry and only 33 years of life, touches people even today. All the great people who have ever lived make very little impact on our world today. But this one man, Jesus Christ, still is touching, still is saving, still is reaching this world. In every language, in every nation, in every culture, Jesus is still Lord and the gospel is still good news.