Pastor G continues his series on how to be a good neighbor. This week he takes a look at both the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats and Jesus’ healing of a leper to show us some important principles about how God expects us to treat our neighbors.
RECAP WEEK ONE:
THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind & strength.
THE SECOND GREATEST COMMANDMENT: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Jesus says the entire Bible can be summarized by these two simple yet far-reaching ideas.
1) Love God and 2) Love People.
TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS , WE HAVE TO: See Them, Speak to Them, Support Them
RECAP WEEK TWO:
OUR NEIGHBORING APPROACH: INVEST and INVITE
Giving Written Invitations, Technology (Social Media/Email/Texting), Face-to-Face (By The Way)
2 REASONS WE MUST INVITE PEOPLE TO JESUS & TO CHURCH
#1 – We are commanded by God to love people and to invite them into a relationship with Him and with ourselves as neighbors.
#2 – For our church to survive, grow and thrive, we need to attract more people who will join us in our mission to introduce others to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
INVESTING: How do we “invest” in the lives of our neighbors?
THE PARABLE OF THE SHEEP AND THE GOATS
… Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.
~ Matthew 25:40
WHY DOES JESUS MAKE SUCH A STRONG STATEMENT?
1) Jesus takes our treatment of our neighbors PERSONALLY.
“You are the only Jesus some people will ever see and you are the only Bible some people will ever read.”
(We are God’s Representatives, we are Christ’s Ambassadors.)
2) Jesus is especially concerned with our treatment of: “THE LEAST OF THESE.”
When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him. And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. – Matthew 8:1-3
Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.
~ Matthew 9:36
Splagchnizomai (GREEK) ~~ Compassion (ENGLISH)
To feel in the bowels, refers to the inner organs, the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and intestines
“Lord, IF You are willing, You CAN make me clean.” Jesus stretched out His hand
and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” ~ Mark 1:40-41
Haptomai (GREEK) ~~ Touched (ENGLISH)
to fasten to, or lay hold of, or to handle
Will you INVEST in the lives of your NEIGHBORS, even THE LEAST OF THESE?
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1) If Jesus were to come back today, do you think He would group you with the sheep or with the goats? Explain your answer.
2) Pastor G said “Jesus takes our treatment of our neighbors personally.” What do you think he meant by that? Do you agree or disagree? Why?
3) What do you think of when you hear the term “the least of these?” Why? How intentional are you about caring for “the least of these?” What else COULD you do to improve your service and care for “the least of these?”
4) Pastor G talked about how hated and feared the lepers were in Jesus’ society. Who are the “lepers” of our society? How do you interact with them when you encounter one? What can you do to help our “lepers” and make sure they are not mistreated?
5) Come up with three specific ways you will reach out to one of your neighbors this week and do something that can be classified as INVESTING in their lives.