Icebreaker: Imagine that you have an opportunity to share about Jesus. How would you do it?
Text: Matthew 9.35-36 “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and illness. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd”.
Introduction: One thing that amazes me is the focus and passion that Jesus had to reach the least, the lost and the broken. The focus of His earthly life was to spread the good news that the kingdom of God was near and within reach for all those who wanted to be a child of God, and to have a friendship with Him. So Jesus went to many towns and villages and spent time with people, sharing, teaching, preaching and helping with their practical needs; for me, the way that He did this was amazing. So today we can learn from the Master about how we should share His message with the world:
1) He had a real interest in people
For Jesus, people were not numbers or statistics; He did not tire of them even when He must have been exhausted from the work that He was doing. Jesus was never distracted, and was always focused on glorifying His Father by loving and blessing people. People were the focus and reason why Jesus was in the world in the first place and so He was always ready to take the time to bless those who came to Him for help. From the pool at Bethesda to a Centurion’s house, Jesus was there to help, to heal, to teach and preach. He was there for people; He was interested in them, and still is interested in you, and indeed in all of us.
If we want to share Jesus’ message with the people that we meet, then we have to listen to them, to find out where they are, and meet them there, just as Jesus did. We can’t fake this interest because it can only come from loving others as Jesus loves us. This self-less love is not something that we can manufacture for ourselves, it can only flow from the Holy Spirit living in us as we respond to the forgiveness and love that we have experienced in our lives.
2) He took time to be with people
Jesus was never in a hurry! This doesn’t mean that He didn’t have a lot of things to do and not much time to do them in, but that He made time for what was His priority – the people who He had come to save. Nowadays people are in a hurry most of the time, so much so that if someone says that their life is not busy and full of things, it almost seems like that person must either be lazy or unimportant.
If we want to share Jesus’ message generously, as He did, then it’s time to break with the cultural pattern of fruitless ‘busy-ness’ that we have accepted into our lives. It is time to make the time to be with Jesus, so that through this growing relationship with Him, we can find more time and opportunities to share about Him with the people around us.
3) He was culturally relevant
Jesus had every reason to find life in the world strange. In heaven things were perfect, He was surrounded by a glory that we can barely imagine but through the language of heaven could perfectly express all that glory. Then He came to earth, God in human form, ‘the Word made flesh’, coming to a place that was hot, smelly and where what could be expressed was limited by the language that could be understood by those listening.
But Jesus never once used that to excuse Himself from the task of saving the world. He spoke in a way that people understood, he went where people were and he communicated with people in a way that spoke to their deepest need.
If we want to follow Jesus’ example we need to consider how to communicate the gospel in a way that will be culturally relevant to the people around us and in a way that will speak to people where they are. This is not to dilute the message, but rather to use the language that will be accessible to those who are listening to what we share.
Let’s go out and share Jesus in a way that Glorifies God, that is faithful to the word of God, and that is relevant for the day to day life that people are experiencing. In this way, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be helping people to understand what it means to live a life with Jesus in a way that is applicable to their day to day life.
Conclusion: We need to be more with Jesus, and we need to be more like Him to share with people around us, that His time has arrived. Would you like that? Let’s pray.