LESSON 7                            12/1/2014

LIFT UP YOUR EYES AND SEE

Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 235, 237

Devotional Reading: JOHN 1:39-46

Topic For Adults

WHAT DO YOU SEE?

Topic For Youths

BE COMPASSIONATE

Scripture Lesson

JOHN 4:35; MATTHEW 9:35-38

Memory Verse:    Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few” (Matt. 9:37) NKJV

 

DAILY BIBLE READING

Be Compassionate Just Like Jesus

Matt. 9:35-38

As Jesus went about preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and healing the sick and delivering those who were in bondage, many people were following Him to get solution to their chronic problems which had defied all solutions. When Jesus saw the multitudes, many that were being tormented by the devil and who didn’t know where to go for help, Jesus had compassion on them. Know that there are people around you who are being oppressed by the devil. Even if you cannot minister deliverance to them, you can assist them by inviting them to come and meet Jesus in your church who can help them and deliver them from the power of sin, Satan and sickness. This is the greatest compassion you can offer to sinners in their needs.

Point of Emphasis:          Compassion always leads to an action of help or assistance.

Prayer Point:                                     Lord, help me to be merciful to others as I have enjoyed Your mercy.

 

BACKGROUND

Jesus understood that looking down prevents us from seeing what is going
on and what the Lord is doing all over the world. Hence, His command to the disciples to lift up their eyes. In this week’s lesson, we will know that we must lift up our eyes to see the harvest of souls through the eyes of Jesus. This is a continuation of last week’s lesson on soul-winning.

NOTES ON THE TEXT

(A)  WHY MUST WE LIFT UP OUR EYES? – JN. 4:35

In Jesus’ discussion with the Samaritan woman, He understood that the disciples were just looking down on the Samaritan woman, because of her gender and her ethnic background but Jesus saw beyond that. He was looking on the field that is ripe for harvest  because He could visualise ahead of time the harvest of Samaritan coming to be saved and have eternal life through the testimony of a single woman. Christians too should always see beyond the physical and always lift up their eyes, for it is by this they would see that it is truly the harvest time.

We need to know that lifting up our eyes makes the task and the need clearer than when we were looking down and seeing nothing. We should look from where we are and see the acute need of the people. It is very important and absolutely necessary now that Christians should lift up their eyes. Failure to do this will mean that the harvest of the souls of men and woman that are ripe will either rot and be lost forever or remain in the fields of the world or fall to the ground and decay. When Jesus said lift up your eyes, there was something He wanted the disciples of His days and even the present day believers to see and that is the vision of global evangelism.

(B)  SEE THE HARVEST THROUGH THE EYES OF JESUS – MATT. 9:35-38

For the 21st century Christians to actually do effective harvest, they need to see the world with the eyes with which Jesus saw it more than two thousand years ago. Verse 36 of Matthew 9 says “But when He saw the multitude, He was moved with compassion, because they were weary and scattered like sheep having no shepherd”. The word compassion in this verse is very significant and useful. It suggests strong emotion. It means “to feel deep sympathy for. Jesus did not only sympathize with them, which many of us normally do, but He had compassion on them which led to preaching the gospel to them. Note that there is a huge difference between sympathy and compassion. Sympathy is just a mere feeling for the pain or loss that a person experiences without doing anything for the person, but compassion goes a step further in helping the person out of pain and discomfort. The parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-37 illustrate the difference between sympathy and compassion.

Jesus saw that the people were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. They were like sheep bothered or surrounded by wolves, lying down and unable to help themselves and having no shepherd to guide and protect them. The people were maligned by the religious leaders, helpless before them and wandering about with no spiritual guidance. This is the state of every sinner in the world. The religious leaders, who should have been their shepherds, were keeping the sheep from following true shepherd. In response to the people’s helpless condition, Jesus encouraged His disciples to beseech the Lord of the harvest, namely, God the Father, to send out additional workers. The harvest was ready for the kingdom was at hand, but additional labourers were necessary to complete the harvest.

Note that most believers in our generation look at the world of sinners and sympathise with them. Only a handful of believers see the perishing souls with a heart of compassion. Compassion moves us into action to ensure that the victim’s suffering is alleviated, no matter the cost. That was what Jesus did and that is what we must do. We should not just pity the sorry state of sinners and the destructive end that is awaiting them. We must decide to do everything within our power, as saved souls, to deliver many of them from the snare of the devil and of hell out of compassion.

CONCLUSION

There are many people around us who are not yet regenerated. We live with them, play with them, work with them, and we even exchange gifts with them. It is a pity that we are not bothered about their spiritual states. We are looking down instead of lifting up our eyes to see their real spiritual state. Do something  positive to show them the light which we ourselves have seen and has changed and transformed our lives. From today, don’t be concerned about the material things you can get from sinners around you only but be concerned about their spiritual state also and do something positive to lead them to Christ.

QUESTIONS

(1)   What is the difference between looking down and looking up?

(2)   Mention two reasons why Jesus asked His disciples to lift up their eyes?

(3)   How did Jesus look at the sinners of His days?

(4)   How do 21st century believers see sinners today?

(5)   What is the difference between sympathy and compassion?

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