Sunday, January 29, 2012

Reaching Out Through Friendship

Matthew 9:9-12, Luke 5:27-31
Rev. James Wong

One survey done among 15,000 people in the US shows that 80% of them believe in Jesus through friendship. The percentage will be higher among Chinese because of the importance of relationship in our culture.

1.  Reach Out And Be A FRIEND
Be pro-active of being a friend to others. Jesus reached out to Matthew who lacked no money but friendship due to his profession.

“As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.”
~Matt 9:9 (NIV)
“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” ~John 15:15 (NIV)

2.  Connect and CARE For Friends
Matthew invited his friends to his house for dinner so that they too have an opportunity to meet Jesus. People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care.

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples.   ~Matt 9:10-11; Luke 5:29 (NIV)

12 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.” ~John 15:12-15 (NIV)

 3. SHARE the Blessings of the Good News
Jesus mixed around with Matthew’s friends. Sharing the blessings of the Good News is to let others know that God loves them and cares for them.

11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
~Matt 9:11-13 (NIV)

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