Becoming a Good Samaritan: Caring for the Sick

Matthew 9:35-38

In a society full of images and action, tee ball practice and work, very rarely do any of us get to catch our breath. Even when we go on vacation, it is constantly going here and going there. Very few people have much of an attention span. You know, there is no way that a church service or a sermon could ever compete with the tv. I don’t know how teachers get any decent results out of their students. On tv there is a new visual every six seconds or so and you are going to be here listening to me for the next 30 minutes.

The point that I’m making is that our attentiveness to the important matters is lacking. We have so many issues to take care of and so many thoughts racing through our minds 24 hours a day that we have a hard time slowing down to focus on one priority. After working all day we come home and watch tv, talk on the phone, and cook supper all at the same time. Teenagers watch tv, get on the computer, talk to a friend on the phone, text another on their cell, & do homework ALL at the same time. Life in America 2011 is hectic to say the least.

I hope that you are challenged by the Word of God today to be more attentive to the needs of others and become a Good Samaritan by caring for the sick.

READ Scripture- This is the Word of God

Point 1: Gospel Ministry Involves Caring for the Sick (v35)
A. Jesus didn’t heal everyone that He ever passed, but He was aware of sickness/disease.
His ministry on earth included teaching, preaching, and healing.

B. In Matthew C9 alone, Jesus heals a paralytic man, a woman with an issue of blood, a girl on her death-bed, two blind men, and a man who was mute and demon-possessed!
a. Isn’t that amazing?
b. Jesus hardly ever slept: preaching and healing

C. Just after this text in Matt 10:1, Jesus gives to His disciples the authority and power to do exactly what He had been doing- “to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.”
a. Gospel ministry involves being attentive to the sick
b. We may not have the power to do what the 12 Apostles did, but we have a variety of means to care for the sick. Jesus was attentive to every type of sickness and disease.

D. Statistics
a. AIDS: has spread to every country in the world (approx. 2 million deaths per year)
b. Tuberculosis: 1/3 of the world’s population infected (approx 2 million deaths per year)
c. Cancer: as of 2002, 24.6 million cancer survivors world-wide (basically incalculable)
d. Malaria: spread to 109 countries (approx 1 million deaths per year/mostly children)
e. Diabetes: 23.6 million people in the US
f. Alzheimer’s: 5.4 million people in the US
g. Flu: 200,000 people are hospitalized each year
E. Gospel Ministry
a. Pray for healing
b. Give special attention to the sick, disabled, hurting (volunteer time)
c. Teach the truth: the sick need to hear the Gospel
d. Research and Inform others – Do what you can to fight disease

Point 2: Compassion (v36)
A. Jesus would look on people with compassion.
a. Is there a tug in your heart of compassion for those in need?
b. SEE Rom 8:9 Test yourself to see if the Spirit of Christ is in you.

B. Multitudes: weary and scattered
a. The people were harassed and oppressed by their religious leaders
b. The people were helpless with no spiritual leadership nor any attentiveness to needs
c. People today are also harassed and helpless – Bad leadership, fallen world (sickness)

C. Multitudes: like sheep having no shepherd (they were lost)

D. A Word to the Sick
a. If you are here today and are sick, we love you and God cares especially for you
b. Compassion wells up in my heart for you – I am praying (though many are unknown)
c. Take courage: be bold to fight your sickness and live for Christ
d. Disease is evil – Do Not let evil overcome you
e. Living with pain is difficult, draining, and down-right depressing (talk about it)
f. Do everything within your strength to be here – though our bodies waste away we need spiritual nourishment from Christian fellowship and Gospel teaching

Point 3: The Harvest (vv37-38)
A. Harvest is plentiful
a. Our work is never finished until Christ returns!
b. There are so many ready to hear the Gospel, many who need our godly care
B. Laborers are few – Pray for more laborers
a. A challenge to us – you may be one answer to your own prayer
b. SEE John 14:12 Jesus said we would do greater works – more time
c. The greatest sickness on earth is sin because it destroys everything (esp. the soul)
d. We must minister to the needs of the physically sick and at the same time be aware of their spiritual condition. Sickness causes our bodies to fail us and that can take a toil on our faith as well. So, we must simultaneously minister to sickness and soul. “Yes, you are sick, weak, hurting, YET stay encouraged. God has promised much better. He will deliver you. He will sustain you. He will give you life to the fullest. Trust Him.”

Conclusion: I know that it is hard enough to be attentive to our own families’ needs much less those of others, but we have been called to be a blessing to the world. Do you know the reason God blesses Christians? The answer is not because we are good or that we have earned it...

The reason we receive blessings is so that we can share them with others. If you have good health, then thank the Lord and bless someone around you that does not. This blessing can take on many activities. Let your imagination run wild for things you can do for the sick: pray, visit, mow their grass, clean their house, give them a ride to the store or doctor, maybe you could hand them some money, send a card, give them a phone call, cook a meal… Care for the sick with the love/compassion of Christ.

We must be attentive to the seemingly small things in life.
My hope is that the Spirit of the Living God will awaken compassion in your hearts for the sick.

In a world that couldn’t care less, we must care more.