We are to love and minister to all people as Jesus did.
My subtitle: don’t be prejudice.
A common practice of humans is to compare one person or group with another, and then to pass judgment on the value (worth) of each. This happened in the time of Jesus. Generally, the Jews regarded themselves as spiritually superior to Gentiles, because Jews worshiped the one true God, while most Gentiles worshiped false gods. Therefore, many zealously religious Jews avoided social contact with Gentiles. (What is your reaction when someone walks in with a head turban? What about anyone else that shows open signs of disbelief?) Nevertheless, God‘s purpose in choosing Israel (the Jews) was so they could be his witnesses to the Gentiles. Jesus fulfilled this mission of Israel far better than any other Jew ever did. He ministered to Gentiles, and has, since the church was founded, brought a numberless multitude of Gentiles to faith in the one true God.
MIRACULOUSLY MINISTRY TO ALL
A. Ministry to People in Darkness
…….(Looking at the Format) According to Scripture Jesus had not long been baptized by John and shortly after was tempted by Satan in the wilderness during a 40 day fast. In his earliest terms of ministry, there was no sense of prejudice.
Mat 4:12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;
Mat 4:13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:
Mat 4:14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
Mat 4:15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;
Mat 4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
…….Just as the Gospel of John reads, He was a light to the darkness! You can not hide a light at night! It was too natural for Christ to minister, it was His crated purpose! How reflective should we be to this same purpose?
Mat 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
…….The only way we can preach repentance is to live repentance! The night of Jesus Christ and the ministry within shines under the lamp of repentance! It is much easier for the lost to accept ministering when the message is encouraging rather than discouraging! For a Christian, conviction works from the inside out (the Holy Ghost imparts to the ones who are filled) But for a sinner without the indwelling Spirit, it is conviction from the outside in. That is why it is much easier for a saint to seek for change through the Word.
B. Jesus Brought to Light
Mat 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
…….There was every reason to believe that Jesus was a bona fide rabbi. His teachings and preaching proved that He was studied and devoted to the Bible. Just as Jesus was, it is our duty to study daily to show ourselves approved of God (2 Timothy 2:15). When people ask questions, do you have the answers?
Listen to what the Psalmist wrote: Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. 12 Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes (customs, ways).
13 With my lips have I declared all the judgments (passively litigate) of thy mouth.
14 I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate in thy precepts (commandments), and have respect unto thy ways.
16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.
…….When a man/woman lives delightfully according to the Word amongst a sinful world, that in itself is a miracle. (If you don’t believe it, go get a job in construction)
Mat 4:24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
…….In the sight of unbelievers it was no miracle for Jesus to live a sinless life. For us, the world sees a mere human that if devoted to Christ is miraculously living without sin. Jesus’ miracles outward were life changing, while our miracles are how He changes our life’s on a daily basis!
Mat 4:25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.
…….Question: Who is following you? You may not believe this but someone is. Someone is watching closely because they simply want what you have!
HEALING THE CENTURIONS SERVANT
A. A Gentile in Need
Mat 8:5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
Mat 8:6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
Mat 8:7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
…….Let’s take a look at this Centurions life. First of all, any man with the Rank of centurion is accredited to having an outstanding military performance. Because of this, they were appointed to having up to 100 men at their command. There was every reason for this Gentile Commander to have much pride within and have no need of a healer for a servant which could be replaced.
Mat 8:8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
…….Through all of his accomplishments and social status he admits that he himself is not worthy for Jesus to even come under his roof.
Mat 8:9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
…….While the centurion could have lawfully commanded Jesus to cone to his house, he knew that Jesus had much more authority because of who he was. Question: how do the rulers of this world see you?
B. Gentile With Faith
Mat 8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled (take notice and admire), and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
…….This mans faith was so great that the expression of Christ was noted in scripture! There was only one other time where it is written that Jesus marveled. While Jesus props the man for having such great Faith, it had to be accompanied by humility for him to even be recognized for his Faith. The smallest attributes have to be present in order for Faith the takes its position on our life.
Mat 8:11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 8:12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
…….Jesus clearly prophesies here that His redemptive mission would result in salvation for the Gentiles. Then, Jesus healed the centurions servant foreshadowing salvation for the Gentiles.
Mat 8:13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
DELIVERING THE CANAANITE WOMAN’S DAUGHTER
A. A Pleading Gentile Mother
Mat 15:21 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
Mat 15:22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
……. Jesus here made a great demonstration by going to a land that was not his own. It seems by reading that Jesus decided to take this trip specifically for this woman who was in need. Just by being a Canaanite she was rejected by the Jews. Though her social status would consider her an obvious outsider, Jesus thought it important to make her life a testimony, and done so with great implication! He set this example up for the future of every Christian!
B. Jesus’ Gracious Response
Mat 15:23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
Mat 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Mat 15:25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
Mat 15:26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.
Mat 15:27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.
Mat 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
…….Question: have you ever had your persistence tested? This woman was tested in a way that only humility and pure believe would bring the healing! He knew what she needed and also knew that His disciples needed to see what true hunger would bring. By answering the needs of this woman He made an example to all that all could receive salvation! Regardless of genealogy and family history, our needs will only be met by our hunger!
As ministers for Christ, we must know first that it is not up to us to pick and choose who can and should receive the message. It is a listening to the Spirit and trust in His guidance that brings success in ministry. May we never disregard the outsiders!