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People Matter Most!, by Phil Ware Phil Ware

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    They knew where to find him!

    Anytime Jesus’ enemies wanted to find him, they could. He would either be alone with his disciples praying, in the middle of the crowds caring for them, or in the synagogue “stirring up trouble.” Jesus’ life exemplified the core values he taught. He was either spending time in the presence of God, sharing God’s grace with his disciples, or caring for those who were hurting.

    He was an easy target. You see, even when Jesus went to church (for him it was called Synagogue or Temple), people counted most—not tradition, not decorum, not petty rules men had made up, and especially not religious politics. That’s why he “ruined” almost every worship service he attended.

That’s why God sent his Son to this world in the first place.
    Jesus’ opponents repeatedly criticized him for healing on the Sabbath—by their interpretation of the Law, this was a violation. But invariably, Jesus compassion for others led to God being praised as well as broken people being blessed. Jesus placed God’s will above all other things—but God’s will was to bless others and share his grace with them. This was why God instituted the Sabbath in the first place—so that God could be praised, people could rest, and those in need could be blessed.

    So whether it was a person who couldn’t see, a man with a shriveled hand, or a woman who had been crippled by demonic power and disease, Jesus cared for their hurts even if it meant provoking criticism. No human boundary of propriety would take precedence over his passion and his mission to demonstrate that people matter most to God. When he taught, he reminded us that our worship was unacceptable if we are not right with those who are around us, because people matter most to God. Like the prophets of old, Jesus taught that authentic religion must not only honor God with a pure life, but it also must care for those in need because people matter most to God. In fact, that’s why God sent his Son to this world in the first place, to show us that people matter most to him.

    So as Christians seek to be a people of character in a time of moral uncertainty and relativism, we need to remember not only to be people of character in our personal morality, but also in our compassion and charity. Religion that connects with the lost and reflects the character of God is redemptive both in holiness and humanness. I can think of no better time for believers to show the blessings of living a holy life and demonstrating through their compassion and concern that people matter most to us and to God.


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