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Faith in Action: Be the Church
Seeing People through Christ’s Eyes, part 4
They were all agog (shocked, stunned) because they knew that this passage applied to the Messiah! By saying what He had just said, Jesus was, without actually saying it, saying that He was the One Isaiah was writing about. He was saying, "I am the Messiah." Furthermore, Jesus was saying that this passage from the book of Isaiaih was His mission statement.
What was the Messiah’s mission? Read the list carefully and take notes, because this is our mission, the mission of every Christ follower, too.
1. Jesus’ mission was to preach Good News to the poor. People of the day thought that being rich was a sign of God’s favor and being poor was a sign of God’s judgment. Jesus said — absolutely not. Jesus turned the tables and gave the poor Good News; they were favored by God. Have you felt out of favor with God? Jesus has Good News for you. Glory to God!
2. Jesus’ mission was to proclaim freedom for the prisoner. Whether you are literally imprisoned or imprisoned spiritually, Jesus has come to set you free! Hallelujah!!
3. Jesus’ mission was to give sight to the blind. The blind were thought to be blind because of some sin they had committed (or their parents had committed). The religious leaders figured they deserved to be blind. Jesus came to heal and show mercy to people who were physically handicapped and spiritually condemned.
4. Jesus’ mission was to release the oppressed. Friends, Jesus came to set wrongs, right. He came to help, the helpless. He came to bring justice, to those who experienced injustice.
6. Jesus’ mission was to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. This is a reference to the Old Testament year of Jubilee when slaves were freed and all debts were cancelled. Jesus came to proclaim that if you are enslaved by and in debt to sin… that you could be free and all your debts could be paid, because of what He would do on the cross – if you would place your faith in Him.
Jesus’ mission was a people–focused mission. It was an outward–focused mission. It was a mercy and compassion–driven mission. Jesus’ mission was the secret to His vision. His mission guided His vision. His mission was the lens that made Him see people the way He saw them. People… were Jesus’ mission. His lens was compassion. The word for compassion in the New Testament, is only applied to one person, Jesus (except for the fictional “Good Samaritan”).
The Bible tells us that Jesus felt compassion when He encountered the sick (Matthew 14:14), the blind (Matthew 20:34), the demon possessed (Mark 9:22), those who lost loved ones (Luke 7:13), the hungry (Matthew 15:32), the lonely (Mark 1:41) and the bewildered (Matthew 9:36). His lens of compassion guided His action, reaction, and interaction with everyone He met.
Medication: A Merry Heart
TOO GOOD NOT TO SHARE...
My pastor-husband Scott has a sweet tooth, so I knew the chocolate chip cookies I’d just baked might disappear before I returned from running errands.
To discourage him, I taped a verse on the wrapped goodies: “Everything is permissible for me -- but not everything is beneficial.” – 1 Corinthians 6:12.
When I returned I found half the cookies gone and another verse attached: “The righteous eat to their heart’s content, but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry” – Proverbs 13:25.
St Mark’s Community Church, Janesville
New Beginnings Church, New Ulm
Verse of the Week: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT
Today’s readings: Leviticus 26 – 27