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INTRODUCING JESUS – A LIFE LIVED FOR OTHERS – SUNDAY 8TH DECEMBER 2013 AMIntroducing Jesus

I know you know Him. You’ve read about Him. Almost everyone “knows” Him here in Australia. In fact 40% of Australians claim to be a Christian; although only 40% of those go to church regularly.  http://mccrindle.com.au/resources/Australian-Communities-Report_McCrindle-Research.pdf   and   http://www.ncls.org.au/default.aspx?sitemapid=2260

But do you really know Him? What is Jesus like? What would He say to you if you met Him today? How would He react to the world we now live in?

Really today’s world, although vastly different in terms of technology and how we spend our time and what knowledge is available, is actually just the same as the world in Jesus day when you consider the problems people face.

For example sickness, relationship breakdown, stress and anxiety, and poverty are all real problems today just like they were 2000 years ago. His answers and approach to your needs and your concerns is the same as His approach to people in every age.

So why would anyone want to know Jesus? – Wouldn’t you want to know the greatest figure in human history? If He rose from the dead as the bible says, He is still alive and can meet you and have an impact in your life today. Why be put off by the crowd. If others don’t want to know Him does that mean you have to follow suit?

My story. When I was invited to church (That’s where you meet Jesus, right?) in 1977 by my best friend at uni, I decided that I was curious to find out who this Jesus was and see what His claims were. I argued with myself (or maybe the devil) and said, “I’ve got an open mind, I can look and see what Jesus is doing and saying and make up my own mind.” At the time God was planning an encounter for me to meet Jesus, and I am so glad that happened!

So what is Jesus really like? – The New Testament tells of His birth to a virgin, growing up as a carpenter’s son, and living in Egypt for the first few years of His life. Stunning the religious leaders at age 13 with His knowledge and wisdom, He only surfaced as a public figure at age 30 for three and half short years, until his torturous death on a cross at 33. It would be difficult to find one individual in any sphere of life who had such a world-wide impact and long lasting impact after only three and a half years of public life.

In the New Testament there are recorded many of His sermons and sayings together with 25 particular healing miracles, eight miracles in nature, five reports of multitudes being healed and three people raised from the dead. His messages are the most impacting things recorded, and how He treated people is what we will focus on today.

Jesus lived a life focussed on others.

Read with me this passage: Luke 8:40-56 (ESV)

40 Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. 41 And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying.

As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. 43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians,[e] she could not be healed by anyone. 44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. 45 And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter[f] said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed.48 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

49 While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher anymore.” 50 But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” 51 And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. 52 And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” 53 And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” 55 And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. 56 And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.

Jesus went among the people. You could touch Him. Today people who are famous or have megastar status seldom go among the crowds for fear of being accosted or injured. Royalty cautiously shake hands across a fence erected for crowd control. These people have fame, notoriety or entertainment value but Jesus topped all that by being able to heal absolutely anything on the spot. Can you imagine the crowd attraction? With celebrities today there’s a distance from the crowd but with Jesus He was in the midst of the crowd all the time. Jesus allowed this and moved among the people.

  1. Jesus was pressed on every side. The crowd pressure was enormous. Imagine the clamour to get healed! I saw what this was like in Ballarat when I was assisting a well know healing ministry person John Mellor to pray for people. JESUS LIVED FOR OTHERS
  2. Jesus made time for a needy person. This woman came to Jesus and she was essentially unclean according to the Jewish law, when a woman had an issue of blood she could not come out among people. JESUS LIVED FOR OTHERS.
  3. Jesus met Jairus, he was a member of the group that had so radically opposed Jesus because they did not like Him. Jesus showed mercy to him and raised his daughter from the dead. JESUS LIVED FOR OTHERS.

Jesus lived His whole life focussed on others. He made such a huge impact on this world, not just because He said really wise things, and not just because He healed people miraculously and raised them from the dead; but He was God and He had power to transform a life from sinful and broken to clean and righteous.

His miracles and lifestyle give evidence to his claims that He is God and He does have the power to transform a life. While His life is miraculous and amazing, it’s His death that we focus on because everything that you need is accomplished by His death. Jesus died for you. He was perfect and without sin and yet He took the punishment for sin that every one of us rightly deserve. For everything you and I have ever done wrong in our lives, we will give account. God knows everything, and sees everything. Because He is righteous, He must judge all sin; but the good news is Jesus choose to take the rap for you. That’s love! Your response? Knowing about Jesus is one thing but knowing Him is entirely different. You can read all about a famous person and know their facts and history but only when you have met them and become friends do you actually know them. You must know Jesus before you can see the reality of what He has done for you. You need an encounter. You need to meet Him. Jesus loves you. He lived for others to show His motive is love. But most importantly, He died for you.

What to do now. Jesus showed His great love for people all through His life and even more so by dying for them at the cross. He asked them for response, He said if you believe in me, you would have everlasting life. John 3:16.

If you’re already a Christian, then live this life like He did. Live it for others. Let his example of Jesus life be your pattern of living. What does that look like for you?

 

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