Jesus didn’t come to make healthy people feel better about themselves. He came for the sick.
He came for the broken. He came for those who could acknowledge their need for deep, soul healing. And he almost got killed for doing so.
The first time Jesus revisited his hometown of Nazareth after having been baptized, he went to the synagogue to participate in Sabbath worship. Young men would often participate in the service by reading from the Scriptures.
So someone handed Jesus the scroll that contained Isaiah 61 and Jesus proclaimed,
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
Luke 4:18-19 NKJV
And then he announced that his public ministry would begin on this platform. He had come to be the anointed one, and his particular ministry would be one of healing the broken.
The people of Jesus’s hometown hated that idea so much, they almost stoned him to death for saying it.
Perhaps they were just zealously protecting the synagogue against blasphemy. After all, Jesus was basically proclaiming himself as Messiah.
Or perhaps, they didn’t want to face the brutal truth of their own brokenness as well as the deep need for their synagogue to approach ministry to their community differently.
One of the hardest things for us to do is to face the deep reality of our sin and need for repentance. We prefer to preach prettier doctrines. But real ministry is ministry to the broken.
Ministry to broken people is inconvenient. It’s troublesome. It invites drama – some of it real and some of it blown out of proportion because of brokenness.
Real ministry isn’t easy. It requires us getting real about our own sin, responding with the work of repentance, and becoming completely humble before God.
But Jesus-style ministry is totally worth it!
But if you want the smile of God on a ministry, and the blessings of God on the work of the church, you must absolutely tackle the most difficult ministry of all – the ministry of the healing of the soul.