Sermon:  We are not a Recorded Message

Summary:  Jesus brought the kingdom of God not only with power and authority,
but with compassion as can be seen in the nature of his miracles and his touch
which freed people from the devestation of sin.  We also should be involved in
preaching the kingdom through ministries of compassion which means doing
more than mechanistically getting the job done, but "touching" hearts with the
Gospel in action.

Know:  The Gospel cannot be taught very effectively without compassion and

Feel:  Compassion for others, especially those who need the Gospel in their

Do:  Reflect on how compassion and kindness does more than merely getting
the job done.  Identify ways to show the compassion and kindness of God to
others in your life.  

Text:  Luke 4:31-44

Scripture Reading:  Col. 3:12

1.  How many have gotten recorded sales calls before?
	a.  How many hang up?
	b.  Don’t want to hear a machine talk
2.  We like to deal with people, not a cold machine
3.  When God brought his Kingdom, he didn’t do it with a machine
	a.  Jesus, a human being, taught of the Kingdom
	b.  What is the Kingdom?
	c.  Kingdom is talking about the “Rule/reign of God”
4.  In our text, Jesus demonstrates the Rule of God

I.  Demonstration of Power and Authority
	A.  v.32 - His message was with “authority”
		1.  Could be that he not teach like other teachers
			a.  They in bondage to quotation marks
			b.  Jesus quotes no one
		2.  But context shows there was more than this in his authority
	B.  v. 36 - His teaching with authority and “power” 
		1.  Power in Greek - “Dunamis” our word dynamite from this
		2.  He demonstrates power over evil spirits
			a.  v.33 - A man with an spirit of an unclean demon
				- Redundancy emphasizes power of this spirit
			b.  The demon tries desperately to control Jesus
				- Demon “names” him
				- Belief naming a spirit or deity allows you to control it
				- Jesus is unphased by it
			c.  Jesus casts him out
				- Not like other exorcists
				- They use potions, rituals, incantations
				- Jesus merely commands him - his word is power
			d.  v.41 - He casts out many demons
		3.  He demonstrates power over sickness
			a.  He “rebukes” the sickness
			b.  Immediate healing
			c.  For us, it takes years of medical training
				- Take medicine, wait
			d.  But Jesus healing was immediate
		4.  Kingdom bring freedom from spiritual oppression and sickness
			a.  Prayer - “Thy Kingdom Come”
				- Followed by = “Thy will be done”
			b.  To be in kingdom is acceptance of HIS rule
			c.  Is that freedom or slavery?
	C.  ILL:  My ancestors on Dad’s side came from Sweden in 1875
		1.  Wanted to have a better life in a free country
			- Same with many of your ancestors
		2.  Meant accepting new laws - but not seen as oppression
			- It was “freedom”
		3.  That is how Israel viewed Torah - not oppression but freedom
	D.  Similary with Kingdom of God today
		1.  Kingdom of God is Rule of God in Action in our lives
		2.  It is not oppression, but freedom
		3.  When you submit to his rule, that brings freedom

II.  Demonstration of Compassion and Kindness
	A.  Compassion often motivated Jesus to act
		1.  Yes, Jesus performed miracles to confirm his message
			- Lk 11:20 - If by finger of God I cast out demons, then the 
			  kingdom of God has come upon you
		2.  But, Gospels repeatedly say he was moved with compassion
			a.  Moved him to feed hungry people
			b.  Moved him to heal people
			c.  Moved him to raise the dead
	B.  How do we see his compassion in this passage?
		1.  The focus of his miracles, authority and power
			a.  Could have made a boulder float
			b.  But he healed sick and demonized, fed, raised dead
			c.  Focus of his miracles were people
		2.  The execution of his miracles
			a.  He touched people physically
				- This is unusual among other healers
				- Laying on of hands became his trademark
			b.  What does touch communicate?
				- Compassion, personal interest, attention, love
	C.  Many not put a lot of value in “touchy feely” stuff, But God does
		1.  ILL:  Child scared in the storm at night
			a.  Mom said not to worry, God will protect you
			b.  Child said he wanted someone with skin on
		2.  Jesus is God with skin on
		3.  No longer was he untouchable
			a.  He came and physically touched people
			b.  Communicated warmth, compassion, love
		4.  By touching with his hands, he touched their hearts
	D.  Who would have thought that this is what coming Kingdom involved?
		1.  Originally God came in a tabernacle
			a.  Demonstrated power at Sinai
			b.  Dwelt among people in Holy of Holies
			c.  Could not come directly in his presence
		2.  Then, he tabernacled among us in Christ
			- He became touchable
		3.  Kingdom came with power and compassion both

III.  We need to demonstrate the kingdom of God in our lives
	A.  We have seen how Jesus began
		1.  He demonstrated the kingdom
			a.  (v.43-44) - Jesus preached kingdom in other towns
			b.  His preaching went together with compassion, healing
		2.  It continued with his disciples
		3.  Needs to continue with us
	B.  How?  -- Do as Jesus did, he is our example
		1.  But I can’t go around healing and doing miracles
			a.  I don’t have the power Jesus did
			b.  Doesn’t mean we are powerless
		2.  We can minister to hurts as Jesus did
			a.  Gal 6:9-10 - Good to all, especially to house of faith
				-  Context - Gal 6:2 - Bear burdens
				-  Do for non-brethren when opportunity
			b.  When minister physically, can minister spiritually
				- Jesus fed, healed, etc. THEN taught
				- Used it as opportunity to talk about deeper needs
		3.  We can show compassion and kindness
			a.  This is a “touching” type of ministry
			b.  Kindness means doing more than getting the job done
			c.  It says, “I care about you.”
				- Regardless of your problem, dress, background
	C.  ILL:  Molly always bought stamps at postal counter
		1.  ONe holiday, waiting in long, long line
		2.  Told her - Can avoid waiting by getting stamps from machine
		3.  She said - I know, but machine not ask me about my arthritis
		4.  The machine gets job done, but not express kindness
	D.  God wants us to be more than machines
		1.  That’s why a fruit of HIS Spirit is Kindness
			a.  Kindness does more than act as a machine
			b.  It expresses personal interest
			c.  Reaches out and touches hearts with compassion
		2.  Alexander McLaren - “If you want to win the world, melt it, don’t 
		     hammer it.”
			a.  Compassion and Kindness melts hearts
			b.  ILL:  Gary Hutcheson spoke of a woman going on 
			     mission trip, no special skills.  
			c.  Her job was to spend time with people - show kindness
		3.  Kindness can help open hearts to the word

1.  Titus 3:5 - When kindness of God and his love for mankind appeared, he
saved us
	a.  You ready to accept his kindness, power, rule, and freedom?
	b.  (Invitation)
2.  If you have, ask self - Have I been expressing his kindness and compassion?
3.  God not send just a recorded message
	a.  He sends us to help convey it
	b.  We are not machines
	c.  We are to be God’s rule in action

Questions for Small Group Discussion