From time to time (not regularly enough) I like to go and have lunch at the local Manly Salvation Army with other members of the Manly community. It is a free feed, and attracts a diverse bunch of people in need of some care. This morning they had this fantastic message on a board as people entered the hall.
At church we have been looking at how Jesus ministered to people. Matthew 9 provides a summary of what he did; “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Full of compassion, preaching the truth and demonstrating the power of God to heal and restore. Jesus helped people.
In fact if you look at the proceeding chapters of Matthew’s gospel, that is the ministry of Jesus – healing the blind, raising the dead, forgiving people’s sins, calling the unrighteous to follow him, curing chronic disease, demonstrating power over nature, teaching people about the kingdom of God. To sum it up – Jesus helped people.
So when we come to the next verse in Matthew 9 it shouldn’t be rocket science as to what we are called to do as his followers; “Then he said to his disciples, The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into this harvest field.” In other words, for God’s sake, go help somebody!
Jesus responded to need. So should we. We view people as created in the image of God, destined not for destruction, but for rescue, redemption and restoration. We can do that in simple ways through our compassion, through sharing the good news of grace and by praying for the power of God to heal and restore. For God’s sake, let me encourage you… go help somebody. Just like the Salvos…