November 14, 2021
“People are our Passion” was this week’s message. Pastor Chris challenged us to love people like Jesus does. He reminded us that following Jesus is our number one priority while Jesus’ top priority is people. Chris said, “Our love for God is revealed by how much we love who God loves.”
Loving people who God loves doesn’t just mean loving those who are easy to love. It also means loving people with opposing views, those who are angry, and even our enemies. This is easier said than done, but if we fully love like Christ, we need to make people a priority too. We must make time for them. Matthew 20:30-34 beautifully illustrates this.
“Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.” Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.”
The most striking thing to me in the passage isn’t that Jesus performed a miracle by healing their blindness; it’s that He stopped and had compassion. While miraculous healing is wonderful, knowing that our Lord is attentive and compassionate is also important.
Author, Bob Goff, wrote, “Loving people the way Jesus did means living a life filled with constant interruptions. Bring it.” Jesus was interrupted by the blind men along the road. He could’ve kept going, but Jesus stopped to help. Would we do the same? We’re often so busy and self-focused. Do we really love like Jesus? Are we willing to let our self-focused lives to be “interrupted” by others?
On Sunday, Chris demonstrated that Jesus gave us a perfect formula to love people well.
1. LISTEN FOR THE PAIN. (Jesus heard the blind men call His name and took time to genuinely listen to them about their situation.)
2. STOP THE GRIND AND STOP FOR PEOPLE. (Jesus stopped for them and stops for others throughout scripture.)
3. ENGAGE YOUR EYES. (The crowd thought the two men were being rude and disruptive and told them to be quiet, but Jesus stopped to engage. He took time to find out what was happening.)
4. ASK PEOPLE WHAT THEY REALLY NEED. (Ask. Don’t assume. In verse 32, Jesus asked the men, “What do you want me to do for you?”)
5. OFFER PRACTICAL HELP. (Jesus had compassion for the blind men and healed them.)
Just as Jesus helped the two men, we can also help others. We might not be able to heal blind eyes with a simple touch, but there are plenty of other ways to engage with people and meet their practical needs. We can start by simply loving them.
In the words of Bob Goff, “Stand up like a mountain; have faith like a rock; love like an avalanche.” And like an avalanche . . . Jesus’ love for people is massive and strong. I pray that our love for others truly becomes our Christ-like passion.
By Kristy Ensor
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