by Claude Thomas

Matthew 9:35-38

Introduction: Jesus stood at the cross-roads of history and made a difference for time and eternity. He has become either an inspiring leader or an intimidating enemy of people of all ages, places, times.

Today, learn from Him some qualities for greatness. When we possess these qualities, we will make a difference...

I. Saw the Condition of People

Explanation: Jesus was in contact with all sorts of people. In cities and villages, people lived in crowds. In hamlets, hills, and valleys, people lived sparsely among vineyards and fields. He encountered the despised, distressed, diseased and dying as well as the frustrated, fooled, and fouled of life.

Two pictures: Sheep/Harvest
Sheep: Wandering aimlessly; exhausted, scattered here and there, unable to go another step, on the edge of ruin.
Harvest: Grain grown to maturity; ready to harvest before it ruins.
Similarity? Both on the edge of ruin and in need of help. Jesus saw people in need of help, hope, heaven. Without those, there is ruin. And that was happening!

Transition Statement: Friend, that was true then, but it is true now!

Application: Look at the kinds of people today -- those with "less" and those who are "full."

"Less" - 1) Parentless - "latch-key," absent parent
2) Aimless - without direction
3) Hopeless - giving up, giving in
4) Powerless - unable
5) Friendless - lonely

"Full" - 1) Vengeful - get even
2) Hateful - angry
3) Lustful - flesh
4) Deceitful - use
5) Regretful - sin/result

Transition Statement: What do we see? All kinds of people ... trying to make sense of life, make something of life, make it in life -- hanging in ... falling off.

Illustration: 400,000 attempted suicides each year!

Transition Statement: Unless something, or Someone outside their world breaks into their world, they will be overtaken! We see this in the...

Application: Bruised, broken ... ...

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