This study helps us see how Jesus loved the lost people around him.
1. See as Jesus sees
35 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.
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
Jesus met many people, but he had compassion (v36) on each one. He saw them for what they were, sheep without a shepherd. The world is harassed and helpless (not us!_ and it needs a saviour. Learn to look at people not in a worldly way (are they handsome, well-dressed, sharp, etc.) but in a spiritual way. Jesus is looking for workers to take in the harvest.
2. Believe as Jesus believes
1 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.
2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him.
3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain.
4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him.
5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him.
7 He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!"
8 For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!"
9 Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many."
10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
This man came to Jesus with a lot of serious problems. Jesus didn't focus on the problems. He saw this man for what he could be and not just what he was. And the man changed in amazing ways.
Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened.
We need to have vision that our friends, workmates and family can change and become Christians. Believe in them and persuade them to come, study and change!.
3. Love as Jesus loves
32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed.
33 When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals--one on his right, the other on his left.
34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One."
36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar
37 and said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself."
38 There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence?
41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."
42 Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
43 Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
Jesus was in incredible pain. Yet he was thinking of others even as he died on the cross (v34). He did not focus on his own problems. He could easily have become irritable, or self-pitying or discouraged, but he did not. The reason: he was thinking of others (the theif v39-43).
Even on the cross, Jesus was reaching out to others. We need to stop thinking about our own problems and learn how to love others. Then our own problems will seem small and God will take care of them.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
1. Spend at least one hour today and tomorrow evangelizing. Take down people's addresses and phone numbers. Make sure you follow up every one who wanted to come. Get at least 5 contacts in this period.
2. Have a good talk, without arguing or getting upset, trying to persuade someone you already know to learn more about Christ and visit the church.
3. Make a decision to talk more about evangelism than about your own problems.