Service Video Message Video Message Audio The service video is unavailable at this time. The sermon video is unavailable at this time. The sermon audio is unavailable at this time. Scripture Verses Luke 19:41-44, John 4:4-42, Mark 8:23-25 Downloads & Resources Influencing God's World Dr. Jon Morrissette - 7/31/2005 Perhaps never in human history has the entire world been united by such a global drama. In New York City thousands of people gathered to watch updates of the mission in Times Square. In Rome Pope John Paul led fifty thousand people in prayers for the safe return of the astronauts. In Jerusalem there were prayers at the wailing wall. This was the critical moment. Would the heat shield hold? Would the command module survive the intense heat of re-entry? If it doesn't, there will only be silence on the radio waves. Now, just for fair warning, I am going to wreck the ending of that movie for you next week. So if you haven't seen it yet, you might want to rent it this week! What is so profound about that moment in history is how all eyes were focused on the rescue of the three astronauts aboard Apollo 13. Not a single ounce of energy, not a single resource was spared in bringing them home. What brings people together like that? What was so critical about that moment that tens of thousands of people were moved to prayer? What was it that provoked so many people to make deep sacrifices of their time and energy? What made them unleash their creativity? Why, for those three or four minutes when communication with the spacecraft was lost, did time almost stand still? The drama of salvation. There is no drama that even begins to rival the drama of salvation. Of people being saved from certain doom. The drama of salvation gets played out thousands of times every day. It gets played out in the emergency room, where doctors perform life-saving procedures. It gets played out in burning buildings, where firefighters brave the smoke and flames. It gets played out in our neighborhoods, where police officers defuse domestic situations, steer young people away from a life of crime, or arrest a dangerous criminal. It gets played out at the local swimming pool, where lifeguards spring into action. It gets played out in the wilderness, where park rangers search for lost or injured hikers. It gets played out internationally, when governments move to liberate people from hunger, poverty, disease, or even oppression. It got played out on September 11, 2001 and recently in London. The drama of salvation got played out at the Que Creek mine in Pennsylvania, when nine miners were rescued from a flooded mine some two hundred four feet beneath the ground. But what about here at Lakeside? Where is the drama? For what must we not spare a single ounce of energy or a single resource? What cause is bringing us together? What cause is moving us to heartfelt prayer? What cause is provoking us to make deep sacrifices of our time and energy? What keeps us up at night? What is urgent? What cause is making time stand still for us? We are captivated by the drama of daily living. There is no drama that even begins to rival the drama of salvation. Of people like you and me being saved from the power of sin and death through faith in Jesus Christ. Yet this drama is off the radar screen for most Christians. We are captivated by other dramas including the drama of daily living, the drama of parenting, of remaining healthy, of completing a project, or of our favorite team marching to the championship. We are captivated by our favorite survivor, house member, idol, or Nashville star not getting voted off the show. But our salvation from sin and death is the ultimate drama because every single one of us, and every single person we know, is personally affected by it. The question for us is how do we begin seeing the salvation of all men for the crisis it is? How do we begin seeing our world through the eyes of God? Through the eyes of Christ? How do we learn to see the world as God sees it? There is this account in Luke 19:41 when Jesus is approaching the city of Jerusalem riding on a donkey. It is during the final days of his life, just before his crucifixion. From a human perspective it was an emotional high point in Jesus' ministry. People were running ahead of Jesus and spreading their cloaks on the road. They were waving palm branches. A crowd of Jesus' own disciples were joyfully praising God in loud voices for the miracles they had seen. Luke 19:38 (NIV) says that they were shouting, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" But their celebration was interrupted because as Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he began weeping. And he spoke some startling words in Luke 19:41-44 (NIV). "As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, 'If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace-- but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you.' " What did Jesus see as he approached Jerusalem that his disciples completely missed? Why were they celebrating and praising God while Jesus was weeping? Is it possible that even as we celebrate Christ here at Lakeside, Jesus is weeping over our city? Over our loved ones? Our neighbors? Our coworkers? The Samaritan woman at the well. In John 4 Jesus talks with a Samaritan woman at the well. In John 4:4-42 (NIV) the Bible says, "Now Jesus had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour." "When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, 'Will you give me a drink?' (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, 'You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?' (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)" "Jesus answered her, 'If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.' 'Sir,' the woman said, 'you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?' Jesus answered, 'Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.' The woman said to him, 'Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.' " "He told her, 'Go, call your husband and come back.' 'I have no husband,' she replied. Jesus said to her, 'You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.' 'Sir,' the woman said, 'I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.' Jesus declared, 'Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.' " "The woman said, 'I know that Messiah' (called Christ) 'is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.' Then Jesus declared, 'I who speak to you am he.' " "Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, 'What do you want?' or 'Why are you talking with her?' Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 'Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?' They came out of the town and made their way toward him." "Meanwhile his disciples urged him, 'Rabbi, eat something.' But he said to them, 'I have food to eat that you know nothing about.' Then his disciples said to each other, 'Could someone have brought him food?' 'My food,' said Jesus, 'is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying 'One sows and another reaps' is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.' " "Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, 'He told me everything I ever did.' So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, 'We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.' " The contrast between Christ's disciples and the Samaritan woman. This story is stocked full of irony. The disciples had Jesus, the bread of life, but went scouting for food. Hello! The disciples didn't even notice the Samaritan woman. And they wouldn't have paid much attention to her anyway. She was an adulterer, a sinner, and human trash. But without hesitation Jesus reached out to her and offered her living water. The disciples didn't mention a word about Jesus while searching for food in the city, but upon returning to the city the Samaritan woman could not stop talking about Jesus! The disciples assumed that Jesus had sent them into a Samaritan city only to find food, but in reality, Jesus was sending them into the harvest field to work! The disciples were ready to leave the Samaritan city and get on with God's work, but Jesus stayed for days, preaching and teaching, and many believed! The disciples thought Jesus was only interested in saving people who were just like them, but the people of the Samaritan city rejoiced that Jesus was the savior of the whole world. How is it that Christ's disciples are sometimes the last people on face of earth to get it? Why, of all people, do Christ's followers have the most difficulty seeing the harvest? Why, of all people, do Christ's followers have the most difficulty professing Christ? Why, of all people, are we so prone to overlooking the very people who Christ wants us to reach out to, and spend time ministering to? "I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." What does God want us to see about his world? What does God want us to see that we are not seeing? What is Christ weeping over in our city, in our neighborhoods, in our families, and in our world? What should be on our radar screen that is not currently on our radar screen? In Mark 8 Jesus comes to the city of Bethsaida. Some people presented a blind man to Jesus and begged Jesus to touch him. We're told in Mark 8:23-25 (NIV) that, "He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, 'Do you see anything?' He looked up and said, 'I see people; they look like trees walking around.' Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly." Perhaps the only way for us to ever see the harvest clearly and to fully comprehend the drama of salvation is for Christ himself to lay his hands on our eyes and heal them. Imagine seeing people clearly, not as trees walking around, but as Jesus Christ sees them. What would change about our lives if God worked this miracle in our church? What would change about our priorities? Our commitments? How we work? What we do? I have to confess to you that my vision is not 20/20, nor has it ever been. I'm not totally blind, but then I don't always see the people Christ would have me notice! So often I go off into the world looking for bread and water, and not realizing that I am entering the harvest, and that there is work to do! So often I get caught up in celebrating my own salvation and then I fail to weep for those around me who have not yet come to know Christ as the savior of the world. These eyes need Christ's touch. They need complete healing! The bottom line is that Christ wants us to love God's world by being an active influence. To make a difference in our world we need to recover that sense of urgency over what is at stake. You know, it is a rush to hear about the heroic measures Emergency Room doctors take to save a life. It is a rush to see firefighters braving the smoke to rescue a life from the flames. I get pumped up when hearing stories about police officers, life guards, park rangers, soldiers, diplomats-- you name it-- making an impact on people's lives now. We are easily captivated by the drama aboard Apollo 13, or in the Que Creek Mine. But the ultimate drama isn't played out in these places, nor does it center on this life. The ultimate drama is played out in the harvest field, where we have been called to work. This is where men's destinies lay in the balance of life and death, and in the throes of a decision for Christ or against Christ. "As Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, 'If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace-- but now it is hidden from your eyes.' I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.' Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly." Why not take time this morning to ask God to heal your eyes? What does Christ want you to see in his world that you have been missing? Have you been oblivious to the unfolding drama of Christ calling all people home to the Father?