02/07/16 Move With Compassion!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Monday, February 8, 2016 Under: Sermon
Are You that Witness Series - Matthew 9:35-38

Intro: The Barna Research Group has been involved in gathering and analyzing information concerning the church since 1984. They have found that 33% of Americans are unchurched; they have no church affiliation whatsoever. While it found that 20% of those who have church membership believe that living a good life will gain them a place in heaven. Given those two statistics alone, that tells us that 53% of Americans are lost and on their way to hell. This does not take into account the people who are atheists, or are involved in occult forms of worship. Over half of everyone you run into is lost. And it is a growing population. More and more people each year are added to this category. And if we were to throw all the false professors that do go to church into the mix it would probably be 75% or possibly much higher, which, by the way, is the percentage Jesus referred to in the parable of the soils.

That is why Jesus said, "The harvest truly is plentiful.” There are people to reach; there is a work to be done. And of the greatest dangers of the modern church is that we don't see this as the most important work. Most everything else comes before the work of reaching the lost with the Word of God.

As Jesus ministered to the needs of the people all around Him, He met their physical needs, but He was able to see beyond just that. Jesus was able to see the deepest needs of their hearts. As Jesus looked at the multitudes around Him, He was moved with compassion for them. This word literally means “to be moved in the heart.” He saw the reality of the need of the people all around Him. He saw them as they were and He sought to share this insight with His disciples. He still wants to share this insight with you and me! He wants us to see the plight of humanity as He does. He wants us to see people as they really are. He wants us to be moved in the heart just as He was. He wants us to be able to see the harvest through His eyes. In order for this to be a reality for the church we must be: “MOVED WITH COMPASSION.”

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:10

Text: Matthew 9:35-38 (NKJV)

Application: The Messiah’s message and ministry should be our message and ministry.

Jesus moved with compassion through His ministry:

1. His Ministry: Vs. 35

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.”

We must first look at or understand His Method of ministry. Jesus Christ had but one method in reaching people: He "went out" after people. He did not sit back and wait for people to come to Him. “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:10 We are foolish to sit back and wait for people to come to us. The vast, vast majority will not come. They do not know to come; we have to go out after them. The very same method is given to us in the Great Commission.

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."


We must understand Jesus place of ministry. I can make it real easy; HE WENT EVERYWHERE! We will receive power to go to our Jerusalem, and Judaea, Samaria…

We have to remember it takes work, His work was teaching, preaching, and healing… “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:2 (NIV)


The key element in His ministry is the message: the Gospel of the Kingdom. Mark 6:7-13


Jesus moved because of His compassion:

2. His Compassion: Vs. 36

“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.”

Jesus saw the crowds fainting, they were weighed down and ready to collapse. Life weighed them down. Life was cruel, empty, and without real purpose. Life too often seemed hopeless and worthless. Sin weighed them down and made them uncertain of the future. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29

Jesus saw the crowds scattered, they wandered about, not knowing which direction to go. They stopped here and there trying to find something that satisfied, but to no avail. They were without meaning, purpose, or significance. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

Jesus saw the crowds as sheep without a shepherd. They went astray, just as sheep. They had no leader who had the courage to surrender to the truth and to live by it. There was no one to teach the truth. Practically every teacher seemed to be out to fleece the sheep, to secure his own position and build a following of his own ideas. Few led the people to God; many led the people away from God. The people were as sheep without a shepherd. Jesus compassion reached out to the empty hearted, the wanderer, the sheep without a shepherd. He wants us to be moved in the heart just as He was. He wants us to be able to see the harvest through His eyes. In order for this to be a reality for the church we must be: “MOVED WITH COMPASSION.”

Jesus moved with compassion through His vision:

3. His Vision: Vs. 37-38

“Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."

Jesus’s vision is the greatest challenge known to man, the vision of a great harvest. Remember want I said during the introduction? Half of everyone we run into is lost. This harvest is everywhere, the faint, weary, bewildered, scattered, and sheep without a shepherd there everywhere. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Share that!

The harvest is plentiful, there is a harvest of children, young people, women and men who need to be reached and taught the strength and security of God's direction and care. There is no end to the fields of harvest.

Jesus’s vision has a great need for laborers. “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!" Romans 10:14-15

Why are there not more laborers? Some reject the call of God, some postpone the call of God. Some deny the call of God; they close their minds entirely. Some seek a profession, a position, or a livelihood instead of really reaching out and ministering to people. Some preach false gospels. They seek to propagate their own rationale and ideas instead of the truth of God. Some just lack enough commitment to reach out and minister. Some are satisfied with the traditional ritual and approaches of religion. Some are more concerned with the bureaucracy than with laboring, more concerned with carrying things on as they have always been.

Jesus’s vision requires a great need for prayer. Laborers are needed, but they must be the laborers of God, for the harvest is God's. It is totally inadequate to humanly select the laborers, lay human plans, and send laborers forth in human strength. Such human action will not get the job alone. God's call and God's appointment are needed. Christ is saying, "Pray that God will raise up enough laborers to reach your generation, the generation for which you are immediately responsible." Christ first of all gives this charge to His apostles and ministers. They are to take the lead and to teach the absolute necessity of praying for laborers. The Messiah’s message and ministry should be our message and ministry. His message had compassion for the souls of mankind and this should compel us: “For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (NIV)

Jesus vision was for a great force of laborers. The harvest is so plentiful and ready that a great force needs to be sent forth and sent forth now. God desires every generation to have a great force of laborers. He wills for every man, woman, and child to be reached with "the gospel of the kingdom" He wills for none to be lost. It is God who is to send forth laborers, not men. He is to do the selecting, calling, ordaining, and sending. Our task is to pray for laborers, and when God raises them up we are to support them by utilizing every means possible. The harvest is God's. He can reap the harvest if there is enough concern within our generation for the multitudes of people who are lost. If there is enough prayer for laborers, if there is enough commitment to surrender to His call to go, if there is enough dedication to follow Him day by day and hour by hour, if there is enough faith to believe Christ and the truth of the Scripture. If there is enough conviction to stand true and firm through all. It can be done.

Conclusion

While walking home from school, a boy named Mark noticed the boy ahead of him had stumbled to the ground and dropped everything he was carrying. Mark hurried to the boy's side and helped him collect his belongings. Surprisingly, the boy was carrying an especially hefty load. There was a baseball glove and bat, a couple of sweaters, a small tape recorder, and an armful of books. Mark helped him carry the things home and his new friend, Bill, was most appreciative of his compassion. During the walk home, Mark discovered Bill was struggling in school and had just broken up with his girlfriend. When they arrived at Bill's house, he invited Mark in for a Coke and they spent the rest of the afternoon talking, laughing, and watching TV. Although the two boys never became real close friends, they kept up with each other throughout the rest of junior high and high school. Several weeks before graduation, Bill approached Mark and asked him if he remembered that day they met when Mark helped him with all of his stuff. Mark nodded as he remembered. Bill then asked, “Did you ever wonder why I was carrying so many things that day?” Without pausing for an answer, Bill explained he had cleaned out his locker and was going home to take his life. He had been storing away sleeping pills and was headed home to end it all when Mark happened along to help him out. Bill told Mark how that simple act of compassion inspired him to go on living. He said, “Mark, when you picked up my books that day, you saved my life!” Imagine how many times our small, seemingly insignificant gestures of concern may reignite the flame of life and inspire someone to continue on.

Thankfully, compassion has a way of doing that. You never know what a little compassion will accomplish! Compassion is more than feeling sorry for someone. It is more than pity. Compassion is a desire to reach out and make a difference in the life of someone else. In truth, compassion is a desire to be Christ to someone else!

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