All People Matter To God

Title: All People Matter To God

Bible Book: Matthew 9 : 35-38

Author: Jerry N. Watts

Subject: Love, God's; Evangelism



Have you ever sat in an airport or a mall and just watch people? What an interesting and revealing time that is! You’ll see people of all races, cultures, and interest. You find their “attire” to be markedly different because God makes all people a little different than others.

No matter what you might observe in an individual, at least 2 commonalities are present in every person you might see; first, they are created in God’s image, and next, THEY MATTER TO GOD. Give that a little thought and contrast this truth to the way we tend to see, judge, and even dismiss people.

Here is the reality: If people matter to God then they must matter to God’s People. That would be us.

Think about the earthly life and ministry of Jesus. He was all about people. He ministered to the lame, blind, deaf, leprous, paralyzed, poor, hurting, and many more. In fact, He seemed to seek out these people so that He could offer them a hand. It appears to me that His program was not a handout, but rather a hand to get started or restarted with their life.

To be candid, Jesus ran into a group of people who enraged Him. This was the church leaders who were so busy “protecting the present church structure” that they couldn’t see the spiritual need of those in the shadow of the steeple.

When we consider the words of our text, we can see the laser like focus of our Lord on people. As He was going about His life we read He taught, preach, and healed. Yet, He did something else which is indicative of the heart of our Lord, He observed. He looked at people through empathetic eyes and understood that they were weary and worn out having no direction.

Today, people are in the same condition. We find people weary and worn out from going and doing and trying and losing. The sad part is that this is seen “inside” those who claim to be redeemed as it does those “outside”. I’ll suggest one of the reasons this is true is that while claiming to have the same heart as Christ, many have become like the world. Instead of looking out and to how we can be a blessing to others, we try to make people bless us. Thus, our selfishness becomes stronger and our ability to dismiss others becomes greater, resulting in blindness to others.

Thankfully our Lord, Christ never became so enamored with Himself and His needs that He lost track of our needs. His life was totally and completely given as a ransom for many. God sent Him into the world for a specific purpose, He knew His purpose and He stayed with His divine purpose until it was fulfilled. Guess what, according to John 20:21, He sends us into this world with the same purpose God gave HIM.

So, what do we do and who do we embrace this purpose through our lives? Let me offer us four simple suggestions.

I. We Must be Consistent

An inconsistent person is an ineffective life. From the example of Jesus, we can learn the art (or the habit) of consistency. Watching Him, we discover that no matter what else happened He did 2 things; 1) He regularly communed with God in prayer, and 2) He focused on people.

By communing with God in prayer, He kept a fresh sense of purpose from the Father. Because of His prayer life, He never lost the passion for Kingdom, the message, and people. Here is the sequence of Jesus’ earthly ministry; He spent time with the Father and took what He received from the Father to the people who so desperately needed it beginning with His disciples and then to the people. This is why we see Him (in verse 35) going to towns and villages and purposely meeting new people. Everywhere He went He did what He was designed to do; preach, teach, and heal.

Consistency is not an easy thing. In fact, this week I read many quotes about consistency and what I discovered was disturbing. This is not a popular concept. Irish poet and novelist Oscar Wilde writes, “Consistency is the last resort of the unimaginative” and “Faithfulness is to the emotional life what consistency is to the life of the intellect-simply a confession of failures.” This is only a couple of quote from many which castigate the concept of consistency. The first time I read these disturbed me deeply until I mediated on this concept, the need for it, and what the Lord said about it. Here is my conclusion; apart from the spirit of God, we have little hope of living a consistent life. Because of the fallen nature of mankind, we have a problem with focus and consistency.

The Apostle Paul seemed to understand this when he wrote in Romans 7 how he felt in his heart, “That which I don’t want to do-I do, and that which I want to do-I don’t”. Yet, 3 or 4 years later, Paul seems to have begun to have grown in his faith when he writes to the Philippians, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength.”

My consistency is important for many reasons, but we are focused on just one reason today. We strive for consistency so that people can see the love of God, hear the good news of Jesus, and come to faith for their soul’s salvation. You may be the only Jesus some sees, or better said, “You may be the one hope someone has of escaping hell.”

II. We Must be Compassionate

Compassion is almost a lost quality today. In fairness and balance, it seems we are inundated with people who abuse the compassion which we give. However, it could be said that we are compassionate about the wrong things. Reading verse 36 gives us the sense that Jesus was compassionate about more than their financial condition. The stated reason for His compassion is that they are “worn out and weary”, but also like have no direction.

This takes His compassion beyond the physical to the spiritual. He could see these people were looking for meaning and purpose in life and much like the people of today, they were and are looking in all the wrong places thus, they were weary and worn out.

How long has it been since you were able to see someone in light of eternity? We can group people in only two groups; those who know Jesus and those who NEED to know Jesus. A truth which we need to embrace is this; “there is no middle ground.” This is a “yes or no”, “do or don’t”, “will or won’t”, or “saved or lost” truth.

First of all is ‘you’. You either have a relationship with God through Christ or you don’t. If you are unsure about this then only 2 possibilities exists; first, at some point in your life you became a Child of God through the blood of Jesus Christ and because of sin in your life, Satan causes you to doubt your eternal destiny. These doubts will wear you out and steal your joy until you lay aside your pride and repent of whatever sin it is. The second possibility is that you are not a Child of God. You can be dunked, sprinkled, dedicated, and confirmed, but if you have never come to Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and asked Him to come into your life (and then let Him), then you are outside of God’s grace and will never enjoy heaven. There is no middle ground and there is no grading on the curve. You matter to God so much that He sent Jesus to die for you. If there is another way to eternal life, God needs to apologize to Jesus. But there is no other way.

After you and I have settled this issue in our lives, we become like He was, while on earth. Jesus saw people’s spiritual need and was moved with compassion. And His compassion drives His concern.

III. We Must be Concerned

Can you hear the concern of Jesus when he says, “The harvest is abundant (I.E. plentiful, rich, profuse, large), but the workers (I.E. laborer, workforce, toiler) are few, this means no enough. It might interest you to know that after reading 2 dozen translations and paraphrases, THIS CONCEPT of “few workers” is interpreted the same. Jesus’ concern is this; we simply do not have enough people who will work to bring in the harvest! Consider this, if the harvest is huge, ripe, and ready to be gathered, and you don’t have enough workers who’ll help you’ll lose the fruit.

In the late 1970’s, Chuck Klein produced a movie inspired by events in his childhood. The movie was called “The Harvest.” Here is the story; A farming family in North Dakota who grew acres and acres of wheat lost dad. The harvest was ready so mom and her 4 boys, ages 2-10, tried to bring the harvest in. None of them could repair equipment just didn’t have enough energy to harvest the fruit.

In a true climax of this 17 minute movie, community came together to bring in their harvest in record time. The reason the harvest was gathered so quickly was because so many came and worked together. These good people were concerned about this family and the harvest rotting on the vine. It was this concern which caused them to come and work. Could the reason that there are so few in the spiritual field retrieving the harvest by rescuing the perishing be that there is little concern in the house? Lanny Wolf wrote the song, “My House is Full” which spoke this truth, that while the house of God may be full—the fields which we are called to have precious few working.

We will not work until we are concerned. Furthermore, we will not work until we are committed.

IV. We Must be Committed

When Jesus spoke these words His meaning was heard by the disciples. They knew that He was talking to and about them and that their life would never be the same. In the next verse He summoned the disciples and sent them out. Many translations say “He called them.” For those who are committed to Christ, there is no option when it comes to His call, we simply must respond! Truth is, God summoned Jesus sending Him to earth to die for us and Jesus summons us to go into the world to reap the harvest that His death made possible. Why? Because all people matter to God.

Jesus reminded us of this in His last words to us. It was with these words that our Lord, Christ gave us marching orders. To “make disciples wherever we go” is not a request, a call for volunteers, or even a well thought out publicity campaign for the gospel. Dr. Russ Moore notes that Christ words “are rather a call to war against the forces of evil.” The forces of evil have hooks deeply implanted into mankind (that is, people) and these people matter to God. God’s plan is the recipients of His grace to share that grace with those who need it. For those who have become recipients of God’s grace we are soldiers, servants, even slaves. The fact that this is not a popular message does not diminish its truth in any way.

Remember the Apostle Paul’s attitude that he was an apostle, that is, a representative, ambassador, or an emissary. He also called himself a slave or a servant of God. Every one of these titles and position require fill compliance. Anything less, gets you terminated.

So let’s conclude by putting some flesh on this truth, it’s personal. Since all people matter, who is it in your sphere of influence that God is calling you to reach out and touch? Candidly, if you are a true believer God has placed someone in your life that He has gently nudged you toward, and what have you done? What if you are God’s only plan to keep that person out of eternal torment? God’s call is to you! What will you do?

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