I finally got my recorder going again and now you can hear the sermon as it was preached via the link at the bottom of this post or on iTunes.
We are continuing our Lenten Series about “What Got us to the Cross?” How did we end up at a place where we needed a Roman torture device to save us?
Jesus, went to his home town and on the normal day he went to his home synagogue, Luke 4:16 says he did this “as was his custom.”
when he was in his home town synagogue it says he was asked to read the scripture and give the teaching.
When he was handed the scripture to read he opens it to Isaiah 61 and reads the same scripture we are looking at today.
Isaiah 61 (CEB)
61 The Lord God’s spirit is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me.
He has sent me
to bring good news to the poor,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim release for captives,
and liberation for prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and a day of vindication for our God,
to comfort all who mourn.
After Jesus reads this, he sits down and says “Today, this has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
This tells us a few things about Jesus, it tells us a few things about us as individuals, and it tells us something about us as a church.
First, it tells us Jesus is anointed by God and it tells us why Jesus was here. To preach, heal, help.
Second, it tells us about ourselves. It tells us what we, as christians, are called to be doing.
- John 14:12 Those who believe in Jesus will do what Jesus did and they will do even greater things than Jesus did.
- Those who say they believe in Jesus are then anointed by God and sent by God to preach, heal, and help.
- If you claim to be a Christian then you are sent by God to preach, heal, and help.
- But we aren’t all called to be preachers, doctors, and lawyers. So how do we as individuals live this out?
- You can preach without being a preacher. In fact, we are all called to preach.
- 1 Peter 3:15 always be ready to give a defense for the hope that is in you
- 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach always.
- We preach all the time, the question is just what are you preaching?
- When we tell all our friends about the TV show they need to watch or movie to see or book to read we are preaching.
- A preacher is someone who shares news. What news are you sharing?
- When our non-Christian friends comes to us and we talk about the weather instead of Jesus we miss our call to preach at all times.
- We can preach via our Facebook status
- We can preach via our T-shirts
- We can preach via our conversations
- A lot of times, preaching gets a bad rap, we say “Don’t preach at me.” That is the fine line. How do we share the gospel without condemning people. We do it by speaking the truth in love to those around us.
- We can heal the broke around us without being a doctor.
- When we offer a cool drink of water to someone who is thirsty we bring healing.
- When we offer clothing to those in need we bring healing
- When we offer hope to those who feel hopeless we bring healing
- We can bring freedom to the captives without being a lawyer
- When we sit and listen to those who are hurting we offer them a release
- When we cut the chains of those in physical slavery we offer them a release
- When the addict finds help they have been released.
This scripture then has implications for our church.
- The church is the body of Christ in the world today. Which means this is our job description.
- We as Harrisville UMC are called to preach, heal, and help.
- Sunday mornings we offer preaching. Healing is offered through our mission trips, and outreach events, and helping is offered through our cell groups, Sunday School, Kids Club, and Youth Group.
Preaching, healing, and helping. That is why Jesus came. That is what you and I are called to do, and that is why the church exists.
If we can’t, or won’t, do those things then we miss out on what it means to follow Jesus. We miss out on what it truly means to be a church.
It is easy to get distracted from our mission. It is easy to get consumed in our wants and desires. In fact, there are supernatural powers that only exist to keep us from our preaching, healing, and helping mission.
We don’t need supernatural powers to get distracted. Cell phones and Facebook can keep us distracted.
However, we need something divine to remind us of our mission and that is where communion comes in.
Communion as a meal reminds us of Jesus’ mission to preach, heal, and help
Communion reminds us of our individual mission to preach, heal, and help those around us.
Communion reminds us of our calling as the bride of Christ to reach preach, heal, and help the world.
Close in Prayer:Sermon Audio