ENGLISH VERSION - Bulletin Nº 59 November 21, 2021
THE RELIGION OF JESUS CHRIST
by Rev. Renato Souza Prates
What is the true religion?
Religion should "reconnect" people to God, but because of trying to answer this question, it ended up falling apart into: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Spiritism, Afro-Brazilians, and many others around the world. We don't even know how many more there are.
When we think about religion, there is a name that does not come out of our heads: JESUS!
But did Jesus profess any religion? Did he teach about any? What was Jesus' religion?
• The text of Matthew 9:35-38 reveals some precious details regarding this theme.
• The text summarizes the religious practice of Jesus in all the cities and towns of Judea, to whom the Master looked with intense compassion: “As he saw the crowds, he felt compassion for them, because they were afflicted and exhausted like sheep without a shepherd. ” (v.36).
• Jesus, however, never wanted to work alone in his religious mission; but he invited his disciples to be fishers of men, and now he urges them to pray that the Lord would send laborers to his work, for it was great and fruitful (vv. 37-38).
TRANSITION: It is from this text that I would like to meditate with you on:
THE RELIGION OF JESUS
1. THE RELIGION OF JESUS DOES NOT ASSUME PEOPLE
• Verse 35 says that Jesus went to every town and village to advertise his religion.
• The religion of Jesus is offered to everyone: rich, poor, white, black, big, small, adults, youth, children, sick and all kinds of sinners.
• He himself said: “Those who are healthy do not need a doctor, but the sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners”. (Mt 9.12)
• It is known that the Jews did not communicate with the Samaritans, because of religious differences, but Jesus broke this prejudiced wall and announced the Gospel to the Samaritan woman, as seen in John 4.
• It is known that lepers were removed from popular life, because the leprosy was incurable; however, Jesus approached them and healed them.
• It is known that if a woman were caught in adultery in Bible times, she would be stoned to death. However, Jesus preached to harlots and adulteresses and saved them from their sins.
• In Jesus' time, the hypocritical religion of the Pharisees said that if a man sat down to eat with sinners, he would become unclean. But, Jesus sat at the table of Zacchaeus, a corrupt man, and changed his life forever.
• Even today there are many prejudices to be broken; a lot of religious hypocrisy to be overcome, and a lot of the sick that need to be healed.
• These sick people are everywhere, including inside the church. Therefore, if you really want to belong to the religion of Jesus, you must be His instrument to save lives.
• Can you my brother say that you have led someone to Christ during your Christian walk?
JESUS CONTINUES TO OFFER HIS RELIGION TO EVERYONE WITHOUT DISTINCTION and we must do the same!
2. THE RELIGION OF JESUS BRINGS WITH IT A NEW TEACHING
• Jesus was the greatest educator of all time. Bigger than Piaget and Paulo Freire.
• His religion was his religion of teaching. But what did Jesus' religion teach?
• Jesus' religion taught the Scriptures. Let's look at some examples:
1) The text says that Jesus taught the Gospel of the Kingdom. This Gospel consisted of the preaching of the Holy Scriptures.
2) When Jesus taught for the first time, in a synagogue in Nazareth, he did it through the Scriptures, in the book of the Prophet Isaiah, chap.61.
3) When Jesus delivered his beautiful SERMON ON THE MOUNT, he did it all based on the Holy Scriptures. Matthew 5:1-12.
The religion of Jesus taught us to be better human beings. Transformed to transform chaotic realities, through the teaching of God's Word, and saved us forever!
3. THE RELIGION OF JESUS IS THE RELIGION OF MERCY
Verse 36 says that Jesus had compassion on the crowds, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. What this means?
• It means that those crowds were disoriented and suffering, including because they belonged to a religion that enslaved them rather than set them free. Jesus saw them with mercy. He could see what no religious leader of his time could see: He saw the hearts of the people, through the eyes of mercy. The religion of Jesus is the religion of mercy.
• The prophet Isaiah exhorts us to live a religion of mercy, rather than a hypocritical religion: Isaiah 58:1-11.
• James, disciple of Jesus, expresses the teaching of a religion that cares for the other, when he declares in chapter 1, verse 27, of his Epistle that the pure and undefiled religion is to visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulations .
• Suffering people do not belong to just one social class, they belong to all of them. There are people who, even though they have a lot of money and power, are with completely lost religiously, needing Christ. Obviously, the same happens with the poor, who need God!
• I think that our church does need to develop a social project, but at the same time, it should not forget about other social classes.
• This was the main heresy preached by Liberation Theology that emerged in Latin America in the 60s: the option only for the poor and disadvantaged of society, when in fact Jesus came for everyone!
4. THE RELIGION OF JESUS REQUIRES WORKERS VOCATIONED BY GOD
The religion of Christ is not passive or a religion where we are only served with blessings or satisfied with our needs. It is not a religion of religious consumerism. This is the problem for many people who go to church but don't want to contribute.
Verse 37 says that the Harvest of the Lord is great, but it lacks workers.
Verse 38 says we must pray that the Lord will send workers to his work!
So if you thought that participating in the Church of Christ would just be sitting in a chair like this and attending the service, I'm sorry to say that you were mistaken or you were deceived. The religion of Jesus is the religion of work and hard work!
Our job as a church board is always to motivate you to develop your gifts and ministries for the glory of God. In a small church like ours, there are vacancies in almost every ministry in the church and the Lord's work is counting on you! You can contact us to present your resume, or we can go after you!
The religion that Jesus taught us is offered to everyone without social, economic, racial or religious distinction.
The religion that Jesus taught us brings a new teaching that transforms the chaotic human reality into a reality of peace, love and eternal salvation.
The religion Jesus taught us is the religion of mercy, rather than a merely ritual religion, selective and closed in on itself. The religion of mercy is God's religion of life, announced not only through Sunday speeches, but also through action on behalf of the afflicted, needy and lost.
Finally, the religion of Jesus is the religion of work. Get involved with her! Contribute to it! Surrender yourself for her"
THIS IS THE TRUE RELIGION!
From this Sunday on, you will enjoy a Revelation Series with Dr. Joel Beeke. It is amazing studies from which we can learn more about this instigating book.
For the arrival of Rev. Renato and Juliana.
For the Council
By the Diaconal Board.
By Church Ministries.
For the sick.
For the unemployed.
For the Missions.
For the city of Macaé.
For the State of Rio.
For those far from the Gospel.
For the new believers.
For the lost.
Every Friday, 6:00 am
Person in charge:
04/11 Luis Henrique Fanti
05/11 Anayansi Gonzales
09/11 Saulo Soares Armond
13/11 Maria da Graça Almeida Costa
13/11 Gabriel de Assis Furtado
18/11 Mayla da Cruz Reis
19/11 Eduardo Mendes de Oliveira Cruz
19/11 Lidiane Oliveira Fonseca Coutinho
21/11 Isabele Mendes de Oliveira Cruz
26/11 Flede Barcelos da Costa
During the pandemic period, the pastor of the church has been available for counselling and meetings in general, by phone and internet.
If you have a specific need, seek the pastor of the church to be properly attended to. You can do this in person or over the phone: (22) 98124-4283.
For now, home visits and face-to-face counselling are suspended, due to the pandemic.
Get in touch and be lovingly shepherded!
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