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.