Faithlife Sermons

Real Love

Follow the King   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 7 views

Christ's love for us is shocking because He knows exactly what we need, and He's willing to give it to us.

Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Introduction

Free trip to Israel - all expenses paid, and we’ll give you spending money… Staci, I’m going to Israel. She was shocked to find out she wasn’t going.
Have you ever been shocked by someone’s generosity? Someone’s love? Someone’s forgiveness? There are times in life when people shock us by how they treat us with kindness that we did not deserve.
When we read the Gospels we should be shocked by the love Jesus shows. He shows real love - willingly sacrificing Himself for the sake of others when it’s not deserved. His love is for us to embrace, celebrate, and ultimately imitate.
Two shocking stories in which Jesus demonstrates real love. Jesus’ love shocked his recipients as well as his opponents. Two truths about Jesus love that we should embrace and imitate.

Real love sees real need.

Jesus returns to Capernaum. Probably returns to Peter’s house (Remains with a space ship built over it.)
Crowd gathers - Jesus preaches the Word - truth about Himself.
Small home - maybe 75 people - shoulder to shoulder - listening. People outside looking in the window, blocking the door, etc. The scribes have a front row seat - waiting to hear Jesus say something that they didn’t agree with.
A paralyzed man - Jesus is his only hope. Four friends bring him to the home - who knows how long they traveled - they loved their friend, and they wanted to see him healed.
Discouragement - they can’t get in. Turn around and go home? What if Jesus leaves town again? What if this is their only opportunity?
Climb to the roof - most houses had staircase on outside leading to a roof made of branches and sod. Making an opening would not have been difficult.
Imagine the scene - you’re a scribe sitting on the front row, a little dirt falls on you, you look up, and all of a sudden a whole in the roof. Four men frantically lowering their friend. Jesus stands there and smiles - He sees their faith. (vs. 5)
Jesus words shock everyone - “Son, your sins are forgiven.” You could have heard a pin drop. Shocking! Friends are disappointed. "Huh?” Scribes outraged. “Blasphemy!”
The paralytic’s greatest need wasn’t physical but spiritual. Your greatest need isn’t physical but spiritual. We think our biggest problems are outside of us: bad circumstances, poor health, financial woes, family issues, or crummy job. Your biggest problem inside of you: your sin.
Jesus could take away your bad circumstances. He could give you a better job, heal your sicknesses, or deposit money in your bank account. Changing your lot in life wouldn’t change your eternal destiny.
Sin = a total assault on the character of God. Sin says, “God, I know you created me. I know you know what’s best for me, but my way is better than your way. I defy you. Your way is not good. My way is.” You have sinned thousands upon thousands of times, and you are guilty. God is holy and just. He must judge sin. He must punish you for your rebellion. But, He provides a way to escape punishment and instead experience forgiveness, new life, and life eternal. This is the Good News! God loves you, and He knows what you really need! A Savior!
Sin = a total assault on the character of God. Sin says, “God, I know you created me. I know you know what’s best for me, but my way is better than your way. I defy you. Your way is not good. My way is.” You have sinned thousands upon thousands of times, and you are guilty. God is holy and just. He must judge sin. He must punish you for your rebellion. But, He provides a way to escape punishment and instead experience forgiveness, new life, and life eternal. This is the Good News! God loves you, and He knows what you really need! A Savior!
Real love sees real need - but do you see your need? Do you see how much Jesus loves you? He was killed so that through His death what’s killing you might be destroyed.
You’ll have one of three responses to this message of forgiveness:
Anger - Scribes angry because God alone can forgive sins, and by claiming to forgive sins Jesus is equating Himself with God. For the scribes, this is blasphemy! You’re angry because: Self-righteous OR self-sufficient. (Who are you to tell me I’m a sinner?)
Ambivalence - The crowd: always present but never changed. Could that be many of us? We’re not unaware of the Gospel or opposed to it. But, we’re not desperate because we haven’t come to Jesus for what we need. Why are you here today? The positive environment, the friendships you desire, what your kids are offered, because it’s the right thing to do, or because you know you need the reminders of grace and forgiveness - you need Jesus. Many in the crowd were there to hear and see, but many would never see their need for repentance. You’re here for the show but not forgiveness. You gather to see and experience but not deeply affected. (Randy chicken nuggets… He knew what he needed… He was there for 12 nuggets… Don’t settle for less than what Jesus has come to give you.)
Amazement - Jesus reads the minds of the scribes (vs. 6-8). They were fuming on the inside. Jesus speaks: It’s easy to say the words, it is more difficult to actually heal. But, Jesus heals to show His power - to prove He is God, and as God, He has the authority to forgive sins - to completely pardon. Imagine the amazement of the paralytic when Jesus told him to get up. Imagine the amazement when it registered in his mind that not only was he physically whole but spiritually. Imagine the amazement of the friends and others who began to realize they were in the presence of God.
What is your response to the offer of forgiveness? 1. Humble acceptance. 2. Worship 3. Forgiveness of others. You know you are amazed by the forgiveness of Jesus when you are willing to forgive. If unwilling, you don’t understand forgiveness.

Real love shows real compassion.

The first story was shocking, and this second is even more shocking. Jesus is teaching and walking. He walks by Levi. Levi sits in a tax booth.
Tax collectors hated. Levi is a Jew who collects taxes for Rome (their oppressors.) Imagine, Russia invades America, and everywhere you look, Russian soldiers walking the streets, asserting their authority, and your neighbor says, “I think I’m going to work for them. They pay well.” You’d hate him!
Jesus’ bold move - Calls him out of the booth - in broad daylight. Calls him to follow. Levi has probably heard of Jesus, but he knows his lot in life. No one like Jesus would ever associate with him. Levi doesn’t ask to follow - He doesn’t deserve to associate with Jesus. Everyone shocked! No Jew associates with a traitor like Levi! This is compassion! A willingness to show love and grace to someone no one else would give the time of day to.
Levi invites his friends to meet Jesus - a man who actually associates with people who everyone else hates. (In 1st century Jewish culture, sharing a meal in someone’s home was an intimate expression of friendship.) He eats with sinners - people who don’t obey the Mosaic law - that don’t live to God’s standards or live out the religion the Pharisees think they should live out.
He invites his friends to meet Jesus - a man who actually associates with people who everyone else hates. He eats with sinners - people who don’t obey the Mosaic law - that don’t live to God’s standards or live out the religion the Pharisees think they should live out.
Pharisees infuriated - undoubtedly jealous. The most famous man in Galilee should be eating with them and applauding them for their righteousness. Instead, Jesus is embarrassing them - points out the flaws in their teaching.
Shocking statement: (vs. 17) - Jesus came not for self-righteous, but those who were aware of their real needs.
If you think you’re a good person who has his act together, Jesus is not for you. He’s not for cultural Christians who think faith is simply living a moral life and having a half-hearted commitment to the church but never really saying, “Lord, I need your grace.” One day you’ll hear, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” Jesus is for people who know they need a Savior.
If you are a sinner who knows you are not right, Jesus is for you! He is willing to pour out compassion on you. Two beautiful truths about the compassion of Jesus:
Jesus was willing to humiliate Himself for you. Jesus did not care what the religious elite or the crowd thought about His actions. He didn’t care that associating with the lowliest in society was going to cost Him relationships with the elite of society. Jesus didn’t come to win the approval of man. He came to save mankind. Ultimately, He humiliated Himself by going to a cross and dying in the place of sinful man. He humiliated Himself by being stripped and beaten and being hung between common criminals; all because of love. This is compassion! And you’ve been called to imitate this compassion! To get involved in the lives of people that society looks down on - that no one else wants to associate with - all for the sake of the love of Christ - even if it costs you relational credibility in the eyes of others.
Jesus was willing to commit to you. What I love about Levi’s story is that Jesus doesn’t simply have dinner with Levi and let him get back to his tax collecting. Jesus commits to Levi - Levi is Matthew - one of the twelve - the Gospel writer! Jesus committed to Levis’ complete transformation! (Trying to get a meeting with a pastor I admire.) And, Jesus has committed to you as well! (And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. ) There’s another banquet coming. (And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” ) At that banquet, Jesus is going to feast again with invited guests. Those guests will be people like Levi - sinners. People like you and me. People who have seen that our greatest need wasn’t physical but spiritual. We will sit around the table with Jesus and we will all have one thing in common - grace. Not one of us will deserve to sit at the table, but we will be there, because like Levi, Jesus came calling. He invited us to follow Him and we responded in faith. We will be there because He committed to us - He committed to save us through His death and resurrection, and He committed to grow us into His disciples. A few questions:
Will you be at the banqueting table? Have you seen your need for grace? Have you given your life to Him?
Who is your Levi? This passage calls us to imitate! Who will you humiliate yourself for? Who will you commit to?
Related Media
Related Sermons