What About Helpless People? Jan. 16:2004
Luke 4:17-21; 6:18-21; 9:46-48; 18:15-17 (HCSB)

The lesson may broaden our thinking about the categories of helpless people. I immediately think of the homeless, but this lesson takes in many shades of helpless situations. Truly the lessons guides us in thinking, What About The Helpless?

1.    What About Helpless People . . and Prophecy? Luke 4:17-21 (HCSB)

A.    The . . Presenting of the Prophecy. 4:17-19

        1.    Presenting The . . Message In the Prophecy. 4:17
17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him, and unrolling the scroll, He found the
place where it was written:

        2.    Presenting The . . Ministry In the Prophecy. 4:18-19
18 The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the
poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set free the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.

                a.    An . . Anointing Ministry. 4:18 a
                    "The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed freedom to the captives"

                b.     An . . Announcing Ministry. 4:18 b & 19
                    " Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim . . . 19 to proclaim the
                    year of the Lord's favor.

                c.    An . . Altering Ministry. 4:18 c
                    "and recovery of sight to the blind,"

                d.    An . . Acquitting Ministry. 4:18 d
                    "to set free the oppressed,"

2.    The . . Performance of the Prophecy. 4:20-21

        1.    The Performance Fulfilled In The . . Synagogue. 4:20
            20 He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. And the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on Him.

        2.    The Performance Fulfilled In . . The Statements. 4:21
            21 He began by saying to them, "Today as you listen, this Scripture has been fulfilled."

    Jesus was presented the scroll of Isaiah to read. Why did they present the scroll to Him? In each synagogue worship experience several were chosen to read. We can assume Jesus attended this synagogue as His home town place of public worship. Jesus responded with a reading and a message that fulfills the prophecy about His ministry. This was an anointed ministry as the Spirit prompted Him to share. Jesus announced He fulfills this prophecy, and it includes altering helpless peoples' lifestyles, and acquitting the oppressed as He sets them free. This fulfillment of prophecy was performed in the synagogue, in the statements of Jesus.

3.    What About Helpless People . . and Power? Luke 6:18-21 (HCSB)

A.    The . . Effectiveness of the Power. 4:20-21
    18 They came to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases; and those tormented by unclean spirits were made well. 19 The whole crowd was trying to touch Him, because power was coming out from Him and healing them all.

B.    The . . Equipping of Power.
    20 Then looking up at His disciples, He said: Blessed are you who are poor, because the kingdom of God is yours. 21 Blessed are you who are hungry now, because you will be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, because you will laugh.

    To help the helpless many different kinds of power must be involved. It can not be power for the sake of power but effective power. Jesus alone offers the spiritual power all helpless people need. He also equips his disciple to share His power. Today I receive a letter from some friends in ministry who told about the mission trips they have taken and the people who came to Christ through their ministry. Jesus alone provides this kind of power.

3.    What About Helpless People . . and Position? Luke 9:46-48 (HCSB)

A.    The . . Debate About Position. 9:46-47
        46 Then an argument started among them about who would be the greatest of them. 47 But Jesus, knowing the thoughts of their hearts, took a little child and had him stand next to Him.

B.    The . . Demonstration About Position. 9:48-49
    48 He told them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in My name welcomes Me. And whoever welcomes Me welcomes Him who sent Me. For whoever is least among you--this one is great."

    The disciples debated the greatness of their positions. Some times ego makes a condition that renders people helpless. Their arrogance elevates, them to a place that makes them helpless in spiritual matters. Jesus demonstrated the humble position as He used a little child to show how welcoming them illustrates welcoming Him and His recognition's. Self exulted people are not effective servants. The way to position in the kingdom comes through sacrifice and self denial, and a willingness to serve.

4.    What About Helpless People . . and Permission? Luke 18:15-17 (HCSB)

A.    The . . Accessibility of Permission. 18:15
    15 Some people were even bringing infants to Him so He might touch them, but when the
disciples saw it, they rebuked them.

B.    The . . Appeal of Permission. 18:16
    16 Jesus, however, invited them: "Let the little children come to Me, and don't stop them,
because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

C.    The . . Assurance of Permission. 18:17
    17 I assure you: Whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will
never enter it."

    It is very sad when we hear stories of people being told they can not come to Jesus. In the text the disciple (who should have know better) rebuked people for bring their children to Jesus. I have heard stories of men being told they could not come into the worship experience in overalls. I heard of a lady being told she could not come into the church because all she had to wear was a plain house dress. Those are old stories, and I hope that does not happen today. If it ever happened to me personally I would take the man or lady up on the platform and have them sit next to me. The disciples may have been trying to protect Jesus time rather than allow them to swarm Him but Jesus welcomed them. Jesus was accessible to the children and they came. Jesus appealed for them to be allowed to come to Him; then he assured all of us we must welcome the kingdom like a small child. We need to asked ourselves periodically What About Helpless People? Amen? Amen!