Over the next four weeks we are going to be looking together at four extraordinary encounters that Jesus had with regular, ordinary people. Through them we are going to find some answers to some of the big questions that we all ask: Do I matter and do I matter to God? Does anyone really see me? Does God see me? Am I too bad for God and can God work through me?
Is God really interested in me? Why would God be interested in me? If God is really the creator of everything, if he is really that big, does he really concern himself with me? Can God really know me?
When we have these kinds of questions we can turn to the life of Jesus and because Jesus was and is God we can see into the heart, character and nature of God. When we see how Jesus treated people we can see how God feels about people. Today we are looking to the first of our Extraordinary Encounters to see how Jesus and God reach out to those who are asking the question “do I matter and do I matter to God.” You can read about that encounter in Luke’s account of Jesus’ life in the New Testament part of the Bible. We are looking at Chapter 17 verses 11 to 19 and you can read that by clicking here.
It is faith that makes the leper well, faith makes us well. The faith to do what Jesus asked him to do, going to the Priests. The faith to come to
Jesus with a thankful heart. The faith to follow Jesus as he rises and goes. Faith in Jesus heals and restores us. Jesus didn’t heal everyone physically like he did this leper. But he did offer and does offer everyone who places their faith in him the most important kind of healing. The healing of a restored relationship
with God, the healing that comes from knowing we really matter to God, the healing of forgiveness, grace and restoration.
People mattered to Jesus and they matter to God. So I don’t know what causes you to wonder sometimes if you matter. If you matter to people, to society, maybe even to God. What is it for you that makes you feel that way?
Whatever it is and we all feel this sometimes, I want you to encounter Jesus afresh today in the way that leper encountered Jesus.
To find out more about Next Steps at Andover Baptist Church check out the NextSteps web page.
Questions to reflect on in your small group or on your own:
- Can you think of a time when you felt small or insignificant? Can you think of a time when you asked the question “do I really matter?”
- Have you ever asked the question “do I really matter to God?” What caused you to ask that?
- What do you think it was like to have leprosy in Jesus’ day?
- What do you think it was like to be a Samaritan? How did the Jews and the Samaritan’s feel about one another?
- Why do you think Jesus sends them off to see the Priest rather than heal them there and then?
- How would you have responded to being healed? Would you have gone back to thank Jesus? Why do you think only one of them did go back?
- How does having a heart of gratitude change us?
- How does this story from the life of Jesus help us understand just how much we matter to God?
Listen to the full talk on our podcast below…