Rescuing the Outcasts

 

outcast1As we come to the text today, we find Jesus just on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Passing through Jericho, He has two encounters that highlight the purpose of His mission, which is to seek and save the lost. We find two very different men, men who might represent the extreme ends of society – a blind beggar and a rich tax collector. Yet, they both have a common problem, and that is their sin.

From these accounts, we see the grace of the Lord – how He gives faith, faith which is based on knowledge which then leads to belief and trust. We also see how this faith results in joyful worship and lives given for His service.

Consider these two men – and consider where you are on the continuum between them. You too are an outcast, just like they were without the grace of Jesus. When we recognize our need for Him, we are more prone to see our part in His continuing mission, which is to seek and save the lost.

To help you with your study of this topic, we are also including the study questions prepared each week for our congregation. May the Lord use them, and the sermon, to be a blessing to you. You will find them, as well as a short prayer, directly below the audio link.

Rescuing the Outcasts
Luke 18:35-19:10
Series: Luke – a Prescription for Doubtful Souls
Pastor James McDonald

  • Considering the context, what is significant regarding these two accounts from the life of Jesus?
  • Describe and contrast Bartimaeus and Zaccheus? Why might they be seen as poor targets for the gospel?
  • What does Bartimaeus call Jesus? What does this say of his faith?
  • What are the elements of saving faith?
  • How do Bartimaeus and Zaccheus demonstrate saving faith?
  • According to verse 10, what was Jesus’ overarching mission? What does this say about God’s work in salvation?
  • In what way did salvation come to Zaccheus’ household?
  • How should we be challenged by those in the crowd who stood by and watched Jesus interact with both of these sinful men?
  • How does your particular mission relate to the mission of Jesus?

Father in heaven, sometimes it is difficult to remember our true spiritual condition without You. Yet, before You gave us faith, we were spiritually blind and living in darkness. Without Your grace, we fall far short Your glory. Humble us to remember that we were not able to save ourselves. And yet, while we were dead in our trespasses and sins, Jesus died for us. Gracious Father, may the Spirit help us to remember who we are without You. And then, enable us to reach out with love to those who need You. Help us to live out our individual missions so that Your Kingdom might come, Your will might be done, on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus name, amen!

 

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