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Allow God to Make you Whole
Mt 9:9-13; 18-26

by PK

Last week's sermon spoke to the issue that it is the authority of Jesus that commands us to make disciples by going, teaching, and baptizing. This week we will look to the authority of Jesus in action.

This week as we attended Sandy Forrester's HS graduation I was reminded of how old I've become. The years are piling-up from the time I graduated HS to the present. Pastor Joe and I reminisced about our HS days. There were good times: when we had dates for special events, watched our school teams win games, made good grades…but there were bad times too. Because a good friend couldn't be found, when we were self-conscious about what we wore and how we looked because we were not popular. (that's right, we were not popular!)

It's in this pit of unpopularity where we find Jesus. He's with the people that you're just not suppose to even be caught dead with! Their presence would totally ruin your reputation. AND these are exactly the folks that Jesus asks to hang out with him.

Take Matthew for instance…he's a tax collector for the Roman government. He probably does it for the money, throwing his character out the window with his fellow Jewish friends & relatives for the sole sake of gaining more money by way of the enemy Romans. Hey, money is money right? Too bad the money comes from the family and friends he collects it from. Who needs friends when you've got money right?

Jesus wasn't afraid of him or angry at him. He just went right up to him and told Matthew to follow him. Immediately when asked he got up and followed Jesus. Did Jesus hypnotize him?

Jesus then sat to dinner with him and more unpopular folks. The popular, outgoing Pharisees asked the disciples why Jesus sat at the same table with such unclean, unpopular people. "Yuck!" they must have thought. Maybe deep down they thought Jesus was kinda' cool like themselves, but doesn't a cool person hang out with cool people?

Jesus overheard them in their quandry. He told them that he deliberately hung out with the unpopular people so they could be popular. It's like when someone who is sick needs a doctor. They don't need another sick person in their life.

Jesus told the popular, cool Pharisees to think about this…he didn't come to be with people who thought they were sooo cool & popular,…he came to be with those who knew they weren't popular and didn't have a friend in the world.

As he finished saying this statement, a sad school teacher asked Jesus to lay his hand on his dead, unpopular daughter so she would live. So, Jesus and his disciples followed the sad school teacher…

When suddenly a disguisting-looking, woman who had bled for 12 years snuk-up behind Jesus and touched the fringe of the prayer shawl on his cloak. She thought that since she was so unpopular and everyone thought her disguisting, she would just barely touch him and be healed, so that she might not be so terribly unpopular.

Jesus turned and knew what she was thinking. He told her to cheer-up. Your faith has restored you. You are totally normal. Just like you were created to be in God's eyes!

Jesus continued to walk until he arrived at the sad school teacher's house. The funeral had started at the house. Jesus told everyone there that the girl was sleeping, not dead. Everyone there for the funeral got quiet….then busted out laughing….yea, right!

So, Jesus ordered them to step outside. Then he went inside, took this unpopular, dead girl by the hand and she just got up! She was more than her old self. She was totally normal as God created her to be.

News spread throughout the county of how at the authority of Jesus, these unpopular & hateful, disgusting, and dead people,…have now become perfect, beautiful creations of God in their hearts and souls.

Today the Lord's table has been prepared for you. You do not have to be popular, or unpopular, tidy & neat or discheveled. You do not need money in your pockets, nor do you need to be broke. The Lord seeks to take you as you are…if you allow him to take you as you are…and make you whole…a new, perfect, creation of God.