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Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Christians responsibility to the lost. Mt.9:35-38

A Right Focus is required:

  1. The Lord whilst teaching and preaching in the cities and villages saw the crowd. Jesus always saw things just as they were and still does today. In this He sets us an example in the church that we might see things as He did:
    • Are we “people” observers?  Very often both the church and individual Christians only see the people around us through blinkered and filtered glasses. Jesus saw the crowd whilst He was teaching and preaching. We know from other examples of Jesus looking at people that He was perfectly analytical in what He saw. As god the Son He saw them every one in their deepest need. Nothing escaped His gaze. Remember how He saw Peter when he was denying Him. He saw everything and had compassion. Remember how He saw Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday, He saw the city and just wanted to gather them up but yet He knew how they would kill Him just a few days later. Jesus saw the crowd not as opportunities but as individuals for whom He had come to accomplish salvation if only they would believe on Him. he knew the heart of each one and yet He still saw them and taught them. We have much to learn about grace when we teach and preach. 

      Preacher do you weep when you see the congregation, do you have compassion or do you simply have a sermon? When you are preparing do you see the potential congregation in your minds eye and do you weep for them and thus prepare to meet their greatest needs? Are their greatest needs your passion?  If not then you are just another preacher with possibly great theology and great words but empty promises. The preacher / teacher that the congregation needs is a man who sees them through Jesus' eyes. The world needs an evangelist who sees not their obvious sin but their person and who loves them despite their sin just as Jesus did.

      We have not really begun if we are honest and I guess that is why our evangelism and preaching is so often ineffectual.
    •  What do we see when we are out and about? What did Jesus see? Obviously He saw the crowd but whereas we might be encouraged by so many people turning out! How proud and arrogant we are. Jesus simply saw them. He saw their need and He addressed it. 
      Paul on Mars Hill is a good example here. he had spent a day wandering around the place before he addressed the people. During that time he had not come to a conclusion that they were simply displaying total depravity. He did not have to observe that, he already knew that to be true of all people. No he was about the place looking for a way to help them out of depravity and into relationship with God. Her saw his opportunity from their religious fervour. Today we would probably rail against their idolatry and put them right in it; but not Paul. He saw that they were not fully convinced that they had discovered all deities and so marked an unknown god with a statue. That was enough for Paul to preach Christ and Him crucified as the god that they did not know and guess what many were saved that day. He saw the crowd through Jesus eyes and his evangelism was effective.
      We have much to learn, it is not about the latest method but all about seeing people as they are and where they are and helping them through their situation to see Jesus.
    • Do we look at the world through the eyes of the Saviour? God so loved the world! We are so often scared of that part of John 3:16 but we must appreciate that God loved the world and so He sent Jesus to demonstrate His love to the world. Jesus died in order that the world might be saved and when He ascended into heaven Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to bring the world into an understanding of how to be saved. God loves the world universally by His common grace and within common grace their is also specific grace that gathers undeserving sinners into relationship with Him. He has known them since before the foundation of the world but surprising to say we do not! Therefore we must love as Jesus loves the world and do our utmost to bring as many as we possibly can into discipleship with Him. if we truly love people it will automatically be our passion to reveal Jesus to them in  the best way that we can.

    • What do we see when we are out and about? Scripture tells us to be more like Jesus. We need to have the eyes of Jesus.
    • How do we see people today? I wonder whether we see them in the same light as He did. In 1 Cor.2:16 Paul tells us that we have the mind of Christ, and in 1 Cor.5:20 that we are His ambassadors to the world, we therefore ought to be concerned for the “unsaved” in the same way that He was!e was! He had a right focus, ours is somewhat fogged. Ever tried to see things through steamed up or dirty glasses? That is how I believe we mostly view the people around us. Our eyes are so taken up with the care of the world and ourselves that we fail to see the real gospel needs at all.

    • What was it that the Lord’s reaction to what He saw? He had compassion on them!

  2. What was it that He saw in the people of the towns and villages?
  • He saw people, individuals, hurting, lost, harassed and helpless. The Good Shepherd saw the people in the towns and villages like sheep without shepherds! 

    He saw a people in need, but what was their greatest need? 

    He had already been teaching, preaching and healing but what was their great need as far as the Lord was concerned?  

    They needed Christians! To Jesus the people were just like a harvest field, that was ready to gather in. Jesus we must remember was God the Son and as such He is capable of gathering the harvest alone but He has chosen to use Christians. That is a frightening reminder to us that we must be about our harvest work. We have recently experienced the wettest summer on record but when we had an occasional dry day the farmers were out all day gathering the harvest as quickly as possible. We are currently in a day of God’s grace and favour, the harvest is ripe; are we as earnest as we ought to be? 

  • The Lord was also honest with His disciples and told them that they needed help, the labourers were few. In reality at that time there were just 11 so what is the answer? Prayer for workers. For the disciples that prayer was answered on the day of Pentecost when thousands were converted and became harvesters of souls! We equally must pray for harvesters; the trouble is that today most Christians would rather be bystanders!!! They seem to think that evangelism is for the professional but if you go out into a corn field at the time of harvest, the farmer has all hands on deck, even wife and children if possible. Evangelism is an “all hands on” activity! There is no room for bystanders wew are all called to be part of the great commission. sadly the church in general is more taken up with the great omission!

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