Caring is Contagious
At the heart of the Christian faith is this idea: in Jesus, God became one of us and dwelt among us. When it comes to those around us who are hurting and in need, the God who dwelt among us calls his followers to be hands on.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
His friend Jesus was more than a good friend, more than a Rabbi, more than a good person, that He was in fact sent from God and He was God. He was the unique son of God.
I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
Jesus didn’t claim to have the best explanation of God.
He claimed to be the best explanation of God.
Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
God is love.
God loves everybody.
Everybody matters to God.
Jesus introduced the ideas to the world.
The Greek, Roman, and Hebrew culture didn’t love anyone outside of their group.
Then came a Rabbi from Galilee...
Everywhere he went he upgrade people’s dignity. He valued everyone he met.
He taught that compassion was an expression of strength, not weakness.
That doing for someone who could never repay you was a sign of virtue. That being meek did not mean that you were weak.
Jesus taught that people had value.
That God goes after sinners not to pay them back but to win them back.
Trilogy of Lost Things
Sermon on the Mount
The Widow’s Mite
He looks at people through the lense that everyone was made and fashioned in His image.
And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us. And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.
And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
While we may be criticized for what we believe, we should be famous for our compassion and generosity.
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;