Summary: There’s a world of people out there who are in various stages of brokenness; some a little, others a lot. Maybe for the first time in your life, you can actually relate to them! They need someone who can cry with them, who can “feel their pain.”
THE BROKEN BECOME EXPERTS AT MENDING
A. HUMOR: Better Than You Thought
1. The farmer's son was returning from the market with a crate of chickens his father had entrusted to him, when all of a sudden the box fell and broke open.
2. Chickens ran in all directions, but the son chased all through the neighborhood grabbing the chickens and returning them to the repaired crate.
3. The boy reluctantly returned home, expecting the worst. "Pa, the chickens got loose," the boy confessed sadly, "but I managed to find twelve of them."
4. "Well, you did a good job, son," the farmer beamed.
"You only started with seven!"
B. NEW SERMON SERIES: “OPERATION”
1. Operation is a battery-operated game to test players' hand-eye coordination. The patient, “Cavity Sam,” needs surgery in 12 places. The players try to remove the broken bones, etc., without touching the sides of the wound and setting off an alarm.
2. The idea is for kids to try to fix a person’s problems. Isn’t that what the body of Christ is supposed to do? And Cavity Sam’s ailments often mirror what’s troubling most people: a broken heart, butterflies in the stomach, etc.
3. Jesus has a similar ministry of healing, and He’s calling us to this ministry! So today we’re going to see how “The Broken Become Experts At Mending.”
27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, 28 and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. 29 Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. 30 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Lk. 5:27-32
I. GOD USES BROKEN PEOPLE
A. GOD OFTEN USES BROKEN THINGS
1. Ever since the fall of man, the world and its inhabitants have not been whole. Just as in Jeremiah 18, where Jeremiah observed the Potter fashioning the clay and the vessel was marred in his hands, so our world has been marred. But God in his wisdom is able to refashion it into a new vessel.
2. It’s the genius of God to take broken things and make them useful. Many times in Scripture God used broken things:
a. The broken pitchers of Gideon and his men allowed the torches to shine out over the Midianite’s camp -- Jdgs 7:19-20.
b. The breaking fishnets of Peter convinced him of Christ's divinity -- Luke 5:6.
c. The breaking of a little boy's fishes and loaves fed a multitude of people -- Luke 9:16.
d. A broken box of spikenard anointed Jesus for his trip to
the cross and the tomb -- Mark 14:3.
e. A broken ship brought Paul to Rome -- Acts 27:14.
B. BROKEN THINGS FIXED: STRONGER THAN EVER
1. Dennis Stepp told on a Wednesday night how he broke a porcelain family heirloom & glued it back together with superglue. The plate was stronger after being glued, than it had been before.
2. The same is true with PVC pipes glued together and with welded metal. Both are more likely to break elsewhere than where the weld is, because they are stronger after being repaired.
3. That happens to broken people when Jesus heals us; we’re more whole as Christians, than we’d ever been as lost people. “Our worst day as a Christian, is better than our best day without the Lord!”
4. And a Christian, healed from a crisis, knows how to sympathize and counsel those in the middle of that same crisis. Jesus has led you out of that valley, so now you can lead others out of that valley too!
5. POINT: Your trials don’t disqualify you from service in the kingdom, rather they’re endorsements that you’re more ready than ever to serve!
II. JESUS REACHED OUT TO THE BROKEN
A. THINK OF ZACCHAEUS
1. What if Jesus had passed Zacchaeus by without taking any notice of him – he would have remained a robber and sinner forever.
2. But because Jesus spoke a kind word to him, and recognized Zacchaeus as a valuable person, his hard heart was opened to divine grace, and he received Jesus as his guest, repented, and became His disciple.
B. WHEN JESUS MET LEVI
1. Levi would never have thought Jesus would take any notice of him; but Jesus said, “Follow Me.” That was all Jesus said, but it spoke volumes to Levi. Jesus showed acceptance. He’d looked beyond the exterior into Levi’s heart.