Jesus had no time for false cultural barriers that forced people apart and stopped him sharing the good news of the Gospel. John chapter 4 tells the story of Jesus meeting a Samaritan woman, a people despised by the Jews. They would have nothing to do with them preferring long delays in travel rather than go through their lands. That is the force of the Good Samaritan story. It was unthinkable that a Samaritan would help a Jew. Draw your own comparisons from our society!
Jesus met with the woman on his own and this was taboo except for close family. She came to the well alone, probably rejected by her own people, and there Jesus met with her disclosing the intimate shocking secrets of her life. Jesus spent more time with the rejects of this world avoiding the hypocritical religious who didn’t want to be tainted with those people! He befriended prostitutes, fraudulent civil servants and other throw-out people. In general he mixed with the people others avoided showing them his life changing love.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for unwanted people. It is for those who know their failure and feel desperate. Jesus came to bring hope to the rejects, to those who are lying on the human scrap heap, offering forgiveness and certainty of relationship with God. Such are his miracles!
During an R.E. class about miracles, a little boy threw his hand up to excitedly tell his teacher that God had done a miracle in his house: he had turned drink into furniture! Intrigued the teacher asked him what he meant and the boy told his story. His father had been an alcoholic and wasted money on drink and foolish living. He had tried self-reform with little success but God had entered his life, bringing forgiveness and the freedom to live a new life. Money that was previously spent in pubs now bought chairs and tables. His personal life change transformed family life.
No-one is beyond the reach of God. If you are willing, no matter what your circumstances are - God can change you!
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.”
14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?”
15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.
4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. 6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
7 “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”
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Sundays at 11.00 am
Wednesday 8.00 pm
Newry Baptist Church
31-33 Lower Catherine Street