Sunday, August 30, 2020

Jesus Was Relational (Jesus Habits Series)

Jesus Was Relational, Jesus Habits Series
Jesus was relational.

If you read and study the Bible, especially the gospels, you'll quickly realize the habits of Jesus.  You'll see His characteristics and His behavior.  You'll recognize the habits of the Man who lived a sinless life.  My pastor is leading us through a series called Jesus Habits.  We are learning about various Jesus Habits because as Christ followers, we should be copying the habits of Jesus as closely as we possibly can.  Today, we are learning that Jesus was relational.  The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon.  You are invited to watch, listen, and worship with us here.

 Jesus Was Relational

Relational people draw others to themselves.  They don't push others away.  They don't talk about others.  They talk to others.  They don't look down on others or pull others down.  They lift others up.  They don't take from others.  They give to others.  Instead of pre-judging others, they intentionally seek to get to know others.  

What habits have you formed regarding other people?  Would you be considered a relational person?

Relating to others is the key to opening the door to their hearts.

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near Jesus to listen to Him. And both the Pharisees and the scribes began to complain, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them." - Luke 15:1-2

Jesus was relational.  Notice in Luke 15:1-2 above that the tax collectors and sinners were "coming near Jesus to listen to Him."  Jesus drew people to him.  Jesus loved people.  He cared and still cares about people.  Jesus was always intentional about bringing people to their greatest  need, a relationship with God.

In Luke 15, Jesus tells a series of stories about a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son.  Every one of those items were found.  Let's read the entire chapter together.

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near Jesus to listen to Him. And both the Pharisees and the scribes began to complain, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

And so He told them this parable, saying, “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the other ninety-nine in the [c]open pasture and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he puts it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost!’ I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.

The Lost Coin

“Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found the coin which I had lost!’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

The Prodigal Son

11 And He said, “A man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that is coming to me.’ And so he divided his wealth between them. 13 And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey to a distant country, and there he squandered his estate in wild living. 14 Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began doing without. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he longed to have his fill of the carob pods that the pigs were eating, and no one was giving him anything. 17 But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired laborers have more than enough bread, but I am dying here from hunger! 18 I will set out and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired laborers.”’ 20 So he set out and came to his father. But when he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, slaughter it, and let’s eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29 But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you never gave me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30 but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you slaughtered the fattened calf for him.’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’” - Luke 15

 

Did you notice that in all three of Jesus' stories, He illustrates the passion of loving relationships?  Jesus pursued relationships with others to bring them to God.

My pastor mentions the lyrics to a song called Reckless Love.  Some of the lyrics are:

There's no shadow You won't light up,

Mountain you won't climb up; coming after me.

There's no wall You won't kick down,

Lie You won't tear down; coming after me.

Oh, the overwhelming, never ending, reckless love of God . . . 

It chases me down, fights till I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine.


The love of God is powerful and relational!

All throughout the gospels, the examples of Jesus relating to others with love are everywhere.  Those examples are likely found around you as well, in your church and in Jesus-followers who live life around you.  

Jesus comes to you, relates to you, loves you where you are, and transforms you by His power.

Here are a few more examples of Jesus relating to others. 

Jesus began a relationship with a man named Matthew, an unpopular tax collector, and it opened many other doors. 

As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew sitting in the tax collector’s office; and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him. - Matthew 9:9-12

Jesus demonstrated that sharing a meal is one of the best steps to building relationships.

Jesus valued relationships over "red tape."

Now a man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. Jesus, upon seeing this man lying there and knowing that he had already been in that condition for a long time, said to him, “Do you want to get well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk.

Now it was a Sabbath on that day. 10 So the Jews were saying to the man who was cured, “It is a Sabbath, and it is not permissible for you to carry your pallet.” - John 5:5-10

Are you someone who removes "red tape" so some relationships can be formed and others can come to Christ?

 Jesus removed "red tape" multiple times.

*The Samaritan woman in John 4.

*A sinful woman in John 8.

*Zacchaeus in Luke 17.

*The leprous man in Luke 5.

*Nicodemus in John 3.

The last thing Jesus did before He died on the cross was to build a relationship with a person.

42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” - Luke 23:42-43

If we want to follow Jesus's habits, what does this look like for you?

1.  Be authentic.

Be authentic in your identity.  Be yourself.  Some people will like you and some won't but you are unique and gifted to relate to others. God is always at work in YOU.  Be YOU.

Be authentic in your motives.  Your motive should always be about getting others into a relationship with God.

2.  Be aware.

If you want to be like Jesus, then you have to be aware of His work.  Be aware of His work around you.  Be aware of divine appointments.

But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” - John 5:17

Where has God placed you?  Do you view where you are as a divine appointment, His assignment?

3.  Be approachable.  

Smile.  Be nice.  Be kind.  Be friendly.  Be interested in others.

Love must be free of hypocrisy. Detest what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor. - Romans 12:9-10

Don't pretend to love others.  Really love them.

4.  Be affirming.  

Acceptance doesn't mean approval.  We can affirm others because they were made in the image of God.  Everyone has the same basic needs.  Our affirmation of others is always rooted in God's love for them.

All that you do must be done in love. - 1 Corinthians 16:14
Let all you do be done in love.  1 Corinthians 16:14
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 Is there a bad habit that you need to let go of so that you can begin to relate to others like Jesus did? 

Jesus wants a relationship with you!  

Learn more about how you can have a relationship with Jesus here.

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Jesus Was Relational

 

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