Summary: what does it mean to serve God
The Call for Disciples
We saw last week the costs we need to pay in order to be Christ’s disciples. this week, as we look at chapter 9, we will see the attitudes we need to have in serving Christ. We see several miracles of Christ mentioned in this chapter. The miracles are done to show that he has the power of God. Isaiah 35 had mentioned that when Messiah came, then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. The disciples as they are sent out were told to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons (Matt 10).
Yet, as we look at Christ’s healing, we see his heart as well. We can learn from His attitudes the proper attitudes we should have in our hearts as well.
I. Forgiveness - 1-8
*Christ offers forgiveness of sin. We should be in the business of seeking to bring not just help and healing, but forgiveness. It is meaningless to see someone healed physically if they are still sick spiritually.
*Christ performs the healing so they will know he also has the power to perform the forgiveness.
*The result: they praised God
II. Mercy - 9-17
*Christ calls a tax collector: one who was rejected and despised. Many times we think others need to "measure up" before they can come to Christ. At the same time, notice that after he is called, Matthew follows Christ. Once someone comes to Christ, there will be a change in their life.
*Pharisees question Jesus about his disciples and question the disciples about Jesus. They are trying to stir up contention and strife. If you have an honest heart before God, you have nothing to fear as others question your actions.
*Christ declares his desire to see Mercy over rituals
*wineskins: Jesus did not desire to come and reform Judaism. He brings a whole new approach to following God. It is meaningless to try to revive dying programs in dying churches. What is needed is a fresh work of God on the hearts of his people, not encouraging complacent sinners to come out and fill a pew.
If God is going to bless this church and help it be a place of true ministry, He may need to work on doing a little weeding of his garden. God loves each one here today, but if you are his child, he will punish you when you sin. If things are going bad in your life, don’t just blame the devil, it may be your own sin that is the cause. Let each of us not look at others, but look at ourselves.
III. Hope (Regeneration) - 18-26
Christ comes and offers hope to the hopeless. To a woman who for 12 years had a disease that made her an outcast, Christ offers hope to be "clean."
*To one who was dead, Christ offers life again
No matter how bad someone is, they are never beyond hope. The power of Christ is greater than any stronghold that Satan might have upon someone. Never write anyone off as unworthy of our efforts in sharing the gospel.
IV. Vision - 27-31
To men who were without sight, Christ offers vision.
*their sight comes after they show determination: they followed Christ inside
*their sight comes as a result of their faith
Do you have faith to let Christ give you his vision for your life. It is easy for us to dream up what we want to do. It is much harder to open ourselves to following Christ’s leading. What is the vision for ministry that God has given you? Will you be faithful in following it?
*Attempt something so great for God that it is doomed for failure unless God is in it.
V. Wholeness - 32-34
Christ drives out demons to make the man whole
*How are you doing in the spiritual battles in your life. Our greatest battles are on a spiritual level. We start the warfare with faith and prayer.
*Christ desires to have us be whole: emotionally & spiritually
right thinking, right action, right relationship with God
Conclusion: Jesus’ actions: The example of Jesus teaches us we should GO - Jesus went about to all the cities and villages
we should GIVE - Jesus taught and healed others: he had a practical ministry, directly involved in the lives of others
we should PRAY - the battle is won by prayer, and the battle IS prayer. Pray that God would send workers. Pray that God would send you.
Pray for me as your pastor. Pray for our church. Pray to be the man or woman of God whom God can use to reach someone else for the kingdom. Look to reach out and share your faith with one other person this week.