Summary: This is the 2nd sermon in the "Who Is Jesus Christ?" series. This sermon follows the footsteps of Jesus to see who He ministered to.
Sunday Morning February 17, 2002 Bel Aire Baptist Church
Series: Who Is Jesus Christ? [#2]
1. Last week we learned that Jesus did not come to this earth to make us better. Jesus came to resurrect us from the dead.
2. Jesus said He came to seek and save that which was lost.
3. As I shared with you, God has burdened me about our worship. God has also burdened me about our target group.
4. What is a target group? That is simply the group of people our church is trying to reach here at Bel Aire Baptist Church.
5. Our church is surveyed a couple of times each year and in everyone of these surveys, I am asked what our target group is from a list of choices. The choices go something like this:
Ø Ages: Youth/ 20-40yrs./ 40-60yrs./ Senior Adults
Ø Race: White/ Black/ Hispanic/ Other
Ø Gender: Male/ Female
Ø Marital Status: Single/ Married/ Single-again/ Widowed
Ø Family Annual Income: 0-$10,000/ $10,000-$20,000/ $20,000-$50,000/ $50,000 +
6. Talk about a lot of choices. I recently took a survey over the telephone that asked these five questions about our church’s target. After answering the questions, I asked the person on the phone what the typical responses were from other Southern Baptist Churches. She laughed and said, “Take a guess.” Here’s what I said, “20-40 year old white man that is married with an annual income of $50,000 +.” She again laughed and said, “That was easy wasn’t it?”
7. Church, why is this? It’s easy. Our church does want to grow right? How better to grow than with people that have money, big families, and lots of energy to do things. This is how it is, right? You may shake your head no or be thinking no, but it must be true because that is what we do.
8. Since Jesus is the Savior of the world, then would you agree with me that we should follow in His footsteps?
9. When I go hunting and I am walking out across grass and weeds up to my waist and my boys are with me, I always tell them to walk in my footsteps. Why? If there is a snake hidden in that grass or a hole that can’t be seen I want to be the one that finds it. I do that because I want to protect my boys from getting hurt. If someone is going to get hurt, then I want it to be me not my kids. Jesus is like that with us. Jesus left footprints for us to follow. I know these are not actual footprints, but we can follow Jesus’ ministry through the Scripture. This morning we are going to follow Jesus to three places and identify what His target group was and then we will be able to recognize what our target group should be.
Footprints To The Tax Collector’s Home
Matthew And Friends
1. In Matthew 9:10-13 we find a set of Jesus’ footprints leading into the home of one of the newly called disciples. This disciple, Matthew, was a tax collector and he had invited Jesus and his friends over to his home for dinner.
2. You can find out a lot about a person by the kinds of people he socializes with.
3. Here we find Jesus and His disciples eating and fellowshipping with tax collectors and sinners. No big deal right? That’s not how the religious leaders felt. To them it was a huge offense.
1. During this time in history, the government would fix an amount due from each province or area and sell the right to collect the tax. The highest bidder then hired tax collectors from the local population. The way these tax collectors made money was to collect more than was due to the government and pocket the rest. These “crooks” were obviously hated by their fellow citizens.
2. This would make these tax collectors thieves and liars.
3. So we find in this passage that Jesus is associating with thieves, liars, and other sinners that we are not given specifics about.
1. The one thing I can tell you about these sinners is that they were obviously not religious people because it was the religious leaders who were upset about this situation.
2. So Jesus is “hanging out” with the non-religious, thieves, and liars.
Footprints To Follow
1. Look at verses 11-13.
2. Jesus tells the religious leaders that they obviously feel like they do not need any spiritual guidance and so they don’t need His help, but those terrible sinners and tax collectors need Him.
3. Verse 13 tells us that Jesus isn’t concerned about our religious rituals. Jesus’ motives were to help those that needed help not those that thought they already had it all figured out.