The Tenderness of His Love

The Tenderness of His Love

Scripture: Matthew 9:35-36, John 8:2-11, John 11:5
Date: 05/31/2008  Lesson: 9
Christ's love was so all-encompassing that He taught us to love even our enemies.

Desire of Ages Deluxe Paperback by Ellen White

Desire of Ages Deluxe Paperback by Ellen White
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Good morning and Happy Sabbath. We're so glad that you're joining us this morning, whether you're a visitor or you're joining us from across the country and around the world. Welcome to Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church for another opportunity to open up God's Word and study together and sing together this morning. Our first request is 381, "holy Sabbath day of rest." And this comes as a request from margarie and monsorat; stephan in the united kingdom; elaina in granada; norm in Oregon; myrtle in florida and joanne in New York. , Verses 1, 2, and 4.

[Music] holy Sabbath day of rest, by our master richly blessed, God created and divine, set aside for holy time. Yes, the holy Sabbath rest, by our God divinely blessed, it to us a sign shall be throughout all eternity. Sing the pleasures of this earth, with its toiling noise at birth. There are better things in store over all the other shore. Yes, the holy Sabbath rest, by our God divinely blessed, here, it to us a sign shall be throughout all eternity.

Asking him for saving grace, also victory in the race, and to help us by his power to keep holy every hour. Yes, the holy Sabbath rest, by our God divinely blest, here it to us a sign shall be throughout all eternity. Thank you so much for sending in that request. It truly is a holy day. And I hope that as we go throughout today that we will remember that and that we will keep it holy.

Our next song is 213. We are going to sing it with life, jessica. Fear not. Jessica, wants you to sing this with life today, okay? , "Jesus is coming again," one of my favorites. And this comes from jojo in india; barry and Daniel in the seychelles; hilda in Canada; steph in the united kingdom, Enoch and vance in California; jim, diane, jamie, and buffy in florida; leonora in Oregon; joanne in New York; bob in Washington.

And then our viewers in norway: andres, Christian-David and strahen in oslo, norway. And they wrote and they said that they watch every Sabbath. They said, "we are some youths and older people in norway watching your Sabbath school every week. And we are really blessed." So Happy Sabbath to everyone in norway. And then molly also wrote in.

And she said she picked this song because she was very happy that the kippels are having a baby. So she knew I liked this song. And molly if I'm ever in Iowa, I will do my best to come and visit you. So maybe one day I'll make it to Iowa. , All 4 verses.

[Music] Father in Heaven, we are looking forward to that day when you do come again, when this world is no more. And the sky breaks open and you come through with all of your angels and music and you come to take us home where sin will be no more. Father, we look forward to that day. Please help us all to be ready, so that we can meet you and say, "lo, this is our God. We have waited for him and he will save us.

" Father, we thank you so much for the hope that you have given us. I pray that you'll be with us this morning as we open up our Bibles and we study together from Your Word. Be with our speaker as he shares with us Your Words this morning. Be with our extended family across the country, around the world this morning, who are joining us for our Sabbath school program, that you'll be with each one. Those in norway and those that have written with their song requests this morning, be with each one.

In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time, our lesson study is going to be brought to us by our senior pastor here at central church, Pastor Doug Batchelor. Thank you, debbie and our musicians. It's always very rich when we get to hear the piano along with the strings and the different wind instruments. Just makes it, I think, a strong worship service.

I want to welcome our class here at the Sacramento central church family. Good to see each of you hear, most familiar faces, some unfamiliar. We're glad you're visiting. And we have a lot of friends who are watching all over the place around the world and through the internet, on tv, and we're just very glad that you are with us, and listening on the radio, part of our class. Again, we want to remind you that if you are not connected with a church family, and you'd like to just be plugged in somehow, we invite you to--we'll adopt you at Sacramento central.

You know, we have folks that are isolated, but they have a satellite dish. And some even in china we've heard about. They've got satellite dishes and technically, I guess they're not legal there, but people still have 'em. And they're picking up the broadcast, and they're all by themselves. You can go to the church website.

There's different ways we can minister to you and give you sermons to listen to and some guidance. And that's simply saccentral.org. And we'll tell you how you can become more connected with the family of God. That's one of the wonderful things about this technology of satellite and the internet. We also have a free offer.

And today we're talking about the tenderness of Christ. And the offer is a classic written by Joe Crews called, "the riches of his grace," the riches of his grace. If you ask for it, we will send it to you. And this is for those in North America. And that number is 866-788-3966.

It's offer number 152. And call that number, we'll be glad to send you that. And also want to remind our friends, sometimes people say, "you know, we started watching Sabbath school, and because of our schedule--" some people watch this Thursday night, Friday night, Sabbath morning, because of work or meals. They say, "we always only get half of it." And I wanted to remind you that now Amazing Facts has a website called amazingfacts.tv. And we archive the Sabbath school programs there.

If you only get one half of the program, you can go there later and you'll see the whole thing. And so a lot of people--most of you know what tivo means. They got these dvrs where they can record the programs. And others will record it in advance, so then they can watch the whole thing when it's convenient for them to study. But we're just glad that you're with us today.

We have given out some Scriptures; we'll be calling on our class here to help us read. The study today: we're going through, "the wonder of Jesus," the wonder of Jesus, talking today lesson number 9 about, "the tenderness of his love." I like this lesson, "the tenderness of his love. And our memory verse is Matthew 9:36. Here in the central church, I hope that you've got that, our class here, Matthew 9:36, 'cause I'd like you to say it with me. Are you ready? "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted and were scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd.

" Jesus looked at people and he was moved with compassion. You know the Lord feels our pain. You know, we've heard politicians say that before and we have our doubts, right? But when the Lord says, "you know, I see your plight. I see your struggles. And I'm moved by that.

" God sees our tears. He knows what we go through. He feels it better than we do. He knows all things. And Jesus cared about how people felt.

He was tenderhearted. And every follower of Christ ought to pray that God'll give us that tenderness, that love for others. Sometime we're a little bit exacting and short and judgmental with others. We're very forgiving with ourselves. We want judgment for others.

We want mercy for ourselves. And the Lord, if he teaches us anything, he said, "I would have mercy." the Lord wants us to love mercy. And in the same way we're appreciative of his grace and mercy, we ought to extend it, ought to ask the Lord to ricochet his mercy off of our hearts to others. So we're gonna study a number of subjects that deal with that. And one of my favorites we're gonna get into is dealing with the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery.

This is only found in the Gospel of John 8. You might want to turn there quickly. John 8. And I'll be reading through the story with you, commenting along the way. But--well, why don't I do that? Let me just--I'm gonna try not to turn this into a sermon, because there are many times I've taken this chapter, these first few verses; we're looking at verses 1 through 11.

And it's a whole sermon in itself. So you try and help me not wax eloquent. I don't know how you're gonna stop me, but pray for me. Verse 1, "but Jesus went to the mount of olives. But early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came to him; and he sat down and he taught them.

Then the scribes and pharisees brought to him a woman caught in adultery. And they said to him, 'teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do you say?' This they said, testing him, that they might have something of which to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down and he wrote on the sand," he wrote on the dust, "of the ground with his finger, as though he did not hear.

" Now, let's just give the background here. What's going on? Well, obviously they're trying to trap him. And it is true, the law of Moses said that the penalty for adultery was stoning. And by the way, it can be, some people figure that in order for it to be adultery, both parties had to be married. No.

It could have been that the man was married; the woman was not. And it would still be adultery. I'm of the opinion that this woman caught in the act of adultery, this was the first time you find mary magdalene, also known as mary of bethany, same mary, identified in the Bible. It doesn't say that, but keep in mind; there's another story in the Bible where it talks about mary. We know it's mary, but John refers to her as, "a certain woman.

" Keep it, you know, she was a convert to the church. She's now a respected member of the church. And so when they recall this experience to protect her reputation, they say, "there was a woman." Some of the other Gospel writers weren't as careful as John was and they identify it was mary magdalene or mary of bethany. So it is possible that this was his first encounter. And you'll see why she becomes such a devoted follower as we go on.

So what they're doing is they trapped this woman. It's the early hour. The very fact that she's caught in the very act sort of tells us that it was a setup. The man is not there. In order for her to be caught in the act, you would think he'd need to be nearby.

And somehow he's gone. And they knew this woman had a, let's call it a "cottage industry." And they came barging in. They said, "okay, we're going to take her to the temple." We're gonna say, "the law said she should be stoned." And it's true; that's what Moses said. But if any jew ever pronounced the death penalty, they would be arrested by the Romans, because only the Romans reserved the right to pronounce the death penalty. That's why they had to bring Jesus to the Romans to secure crucifixion.

No jew--they could take care of trivial matters in their courts, but when it came to the death penalty, the Romans controlled the courts. So if Jesus said, "you're right. She should be stoned," and if she was stoned, then they were gonna run to the Romans, say, "Jesus claims that he's got the power of the caesars." And he would be in trouble with them. If Jesus said, "no, let her go," they'd say, "what? You don't believe in the law of Moses?" And they hoped to insight a riot among the people who were very zealous of the law of Moses. So they thought, "no matter what he says, we've got him now.

" You got the background? They thought, you know, "this is a conundrum he will not escape." So he ignored them. And he stoops down. And there, you know, in the dust of the temple floor--keep in mind; in the courtyard of the temple, you remember they were bringing in cattle. And they were bringing in sheep and doves and moneychangers and all the foot traffic from the dusty streets. And there was a layer of dust on the marble floor.

And he is now etching in that dust something. And they're not paying attention at first at what he's saying. It just looks like he's doodling. And they continue pressing him wanting an answer, you know, you can, "give us a yes or a no," so we know whether to stone mary and go to the Romans or to get the people to stone you. They probably had an arsenal of stones all ready for this experience.

They pressed him, in verse 7, "and he raised himself up." Be careful when Michael stands up. "And he says to them, 'he who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.'" Those immortal words. "And then he stooped down again and he wrote on the ground." Well, they're absolutely befuddled by how to respond to what he said. He didn't say, "don't stone her." He didn't say, "do stone her." He said, "he that is without sin cast the first stone." And while they're pondering how to deal with this, they notice for the first time what it is he's writing. Now let me ask you.

You can call out your answer. What do you think Jesus was writing? "Ten Commandments," I hear some say. Their sins. Well, they could be connected, right? Because some of their sins-- he might have written down, "adultery." That'd be one of the Ten Commandments, could have been one of their sins. So when God writes, you need to pay attention.

How many times do we find God writing in the Bible? There's probably three times. You've got of course the Ten Commandments. Well, he wrote them twice though, didn't he? But still same thing, Ten Commandments. Judgment was written with the finger of God on the walls of Babylon in the plaster. And then here you've got Jesus writing.

By the way, if anyone ever wonders whether Christ was literate or not, he's writing here. We knew he could read; now we know he can write. I think he was writing out their sins or violations of the law. Now they're claiming great love for Moses. They're saying, "stone her, 'cause Moses said.

" So Jesus says, "you like Moses? I'll write some Moses for you." And he begins to write the laws of Moses that they're breaking, but they're the secret sins they don't think anyone knows about. And he starts to write some of the specific things in their lives. And all of a sudden, a horror comes upon them as they see that he is exposing their secret sins while they're, you know, self-righteously judging mary. Notice what it says here: "and beginning--" "they being convicted by their own conscience," I'm in verse 9, "went out one by one, beginning--" how does the Lord judge us? It's all a very personal, one-by-one experience. He saves us one-by-one too.

"Beginning with the oldest even to the last." Why starting with the oldest? Who would have the longer record of sin, the youngest or the oldest? "Beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst." Now when she was first brought before Jesus, they threw her down and says, "at Jesus' feet." And no doubt she was weeping overcome with shame and guilt. Can you imagine that? Let's put yourself in mary's shoes for just a minute. You get into all kinds of trouble. And you're doing something you shouldn't do in Jerusalem.

By the way, the reason mary was called mary magdalene, was because mary, who had a brother and sister named Lazarus and Martha, they lived in bethany. She had a business in magdala. Magdala was a seaport town on the coast of the sea of Galilee where the Romans went for vacation. And like many places were sailors go for vacation, it had that reputation, where they went for their recreation. So just by saying, "mary of magdala," it's kind of like saying, "mary of las vegas.

" You understand the connotation there? But she came to Jerusalem for the feast, 'cause her brother and sister lived nearby. There's a lot of business. And so she was in Jerusalem conducting her trade. And she's caught. All of the sudden the door opens and they barge in and she is caught by the church leaders.

And there she is naked. And they drag her, probably didn't have a chance to get herself together. They drag her to the holiest place in the world, which was the temple of God, having just been caught in that sin. And they throw her at the feet of the holiest man who's ever lived. Talk about a sense of shame.

Ohh. But I heard one pastor say that's probably the best and the safest place in the world you could be when you're in trouble is at the feet of Jesus. And some people think the last thing you want to do when you're in trouble is go to church and to be in the presence of God. Some people say, "oh, I have no right to go to church the way I'm living right now." Well, that's probably exactly where you should go even though you don't feel worthy, 'cause that's where you're gonna find redemption. Yeah, you'll be convicted, but that's the place of salvation.

I've met people before, and I'll say, "where you been?" Well, I'm just not living right pastor. I don't think--I'm a hypocrite, so I shouldn't go to church. I say, "you ought to go anyway." 'Cause what's gonna happen is you're gonna say your sin is gonna keep you from God or God is gonna keep you from your sin. You keep coming to church, pretty soon you're gonna say, "hey, I can't keep sinning like this." And you'll be saved from your sin. You stay away from God, that's exactly what the devil wants you to do.

So there she is. She's at Jesus' feet. And at first, you know, she's cowering and filled with shame. And she hears Jesus say, "he that is without sin cast the first stone." She was probably expecting a withering hail of rocks to come raining down on her. But nothing happened.

And eventually she gets up, she looks out around, and she sees the church leaders going out one-by-one, dropping their rocks as they go, leaving a trail like hansel and gretel on the way out the temple. And pretty soon she ventures to stand up. And it says, "the woman is standing alone." And all of her accusers are gone. And he says, "woman." By the way, that word, "woman," was not a derogatory term. It's a term of respect.

He's calling her "madam" or "miss." What did Jesus call his own mother? "Woman," from the cross. Talk about the tenderness of Jesus. From his cross, he's thinking about his mother. He says, "woman, behold your son," referring to John. And then he nods at John and says, "son, behold your mother.

" I mean Jesus with all his suffering, talk about the tenderness of Christ." He's thinking about his mother at that time. So "he says, 'woman, where are those, thine accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?' And she said, 'no one, Lord.' And he said to her, 'neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.'" Now this is very important. First of all, I'd like for someone to read for me another verse in the Gospel of John 3:17-18. Did somebody get that one? It says, "for God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. He who believes in him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

" That's very important. Jesus did not come to condemn. He could have that day not only condemned mary; he could have condemned all of her accusers. And I think it's significant: what does a woman represent in Bible typology? Is the church guilty? I mean when you look at the history of Israel, God's church, were they guilty of going after other lovers? That's a rhetorical question, 'cause the old testament prophecies are full of it. God talks about the children of Israel.

He uses the words, "whoring after other lovers." The whole book of Hosea deals with this. And you trace the history of God's people and so often there's a chronicle of unfaithfulness. And yet he's forgiving again and again. He wants to win her back by his patience and love. But in spite of her unfaithfulness, he doesn't like it when people throw rocks.

It's interesting; one time I was doing some marriage counseling, which you probably shouldn't do if your name is Batchelor. And this couple really needed help. They could get into fights, physical fights where they're wrestling. And at one point they started doing that in my presence. And I thought, well, you know, I'm not--the reason I don't go to baseball games and football games is because I'm not a spectator.

I like to get in the middle of things. And so I thought, "oh, this is--you guys can't settle things this way." And I said, "stop it." And when they weren't listening to me, I thought, "well, I'm gonna try and stop them." So I got in there and I pulled 'em apart. And finally the man's trying to hit his wife, so I held him, so he couldn't hit her. And I used to wrestle. I got him in a full nelson.

You all know what that is. Well then she got mad at me for beating up on her husband. I wasn't beating up on him. And they don't teach you this stuff in seminary, you know, how to deal with that. But the reason I'm telling that story is even though she was really mad at him, she didn't want anybody hurting him.

And I've seen the same thing. A man might be yelling at his wife, but boy, if someone tries to touch her, he might be mad and arguing with the wife, but if someone tries to hurt her, oh boy, you better watch out. He'll go to protect her. And as badly as the church behaves, if you really want to see the Lord get upset, start throwing rocks at his bride. It says, "he that touches the apple of his eye.

" Now, the reason I'm saying that, there are some who they find it's their calling, their special ministry to talk about all the faults of the church. Okay, let's get this over with. How many of us agree that the church has a lot of problems? We all agree with that? How many of you would even say the church is in, it seems like almost a chronic state of apostasy from where we're supposed to be. It doesn't need to be that way. God wants us to be revived.

But are we to spend our time constantly talking about the faults of the church? I think we should pray. I think there are things that should be addressed that should be done in the right forum. But for us to feel self-righteous and go around and just chronicle all the problems in the church, I don't think the Lord likes that anymore than he liked it when the scribes and the pharisees threw mary down, pointed fingers and wanted to stone her. And he ended up saying, "okay now, let's start to chronicle your bad behavior." So be careful about throwing rocks at the church. What are we to do? Pray.

It should grieve us in our hearts these problems in the church, the areas that need revival. But for us to try to act self-righteous by pointing them out, that's not the answer. Matter of fact, there's an analogy for this experience of mary. Go with me to Ezekiel 9, Ezekiel 9. This is a very important verse prophetically where it talks about the Mark of God and the Mark of the beast even.

I'm gonna read this for ya. Ezekiel 9:1, "then he called out in my hearing," he's in a vision here, "with a loud voice, saying, 'let those who have charge over the city draw near, each man with a deadly weapon in his hand.' Then suddenly six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north," he's talking about the city in the temple, "with his battle-ax," or his destroying weapon, "in his hand. One man among them," this would be a seventh we assume, "was clothed with linen and he had a writer's inkhorn at his side." The others have weapons and one has some device to Mark with. "And they went in and they stood beside the bronze altar." Where's this vision taking place? Where was the bronze altar? It's in the temple, okay? "And he called to the man--" by the way, it was in the courtyard-- "and he called to the man, who had the writer's inkhorn at his side; and the glory of the Lord of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And he called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer's inkhorn at his side; and he said unto him, 'go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a Mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.

' To the others he said in my hearing, 'go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the Mark; and begin at my sanctuary.' So they began with the elders," or the ancient men, "who were before the temple." Now, I think there's an interesting analogy here. This is a judgment that came on Israel. You notice it happens in the temple like the story of mary. And it begins with the ancient men.

And there's a Mark put on the foreheads of those who sigh and cry. Now if I say, "how many of you want a Mark on your forehead?" Most people immediately think of the Mark of the beast. But the Bible says the saved have a Mark, don't they? It speaks of the seal of God in Revelation. This is analogous of that. You want this Mark.

Who gets this Mark? The ones who--when it says, "sigh and cry," I mean who--if I were to say, you know, "we're gonna have a new club. We're gonna start a new ministry in the church. It's called the "sigh and cry ministry." How many of you'd like to be part of that? Who would like to be the "sigh and cry leader," the leader of "the sigh and cry ministry?" I mean it doesn't sound very attractive. But this is in the Bible. What's it talking about? Those who are grieved by sin, they're yearning for revival.

There's two groups the Lord says that he's with: the hot and the cold. Hot means zealous, on fire, working, preaching. Cold means praying for revival, repentant, humbling yourself before the Lord. The people, who during the time of judgment in the last days, a judgment was about to come, they have the attitude they had on the day of atonement of every man examining himself. It's an attitude of a humbleness, of surrender, of praying for revival, of being sorry for the sins among God's people.

They're not gossiping. They're humbling themselves before the Lord. They receive the Mark of God. They received the seal of God. They're seeking for the filling of the Spirit.

He can fill them. And so there's some symbolism here I think that you can even apply to that story of mary, where mary was there humbling herself before the Lord. She is not condemned. You remember when the publican came into the temple and the pharisee came into the temple. They both come before the same God.

They're both members of the same church. One humbled himself. He went out uncondemned, forgiven. The pharisee was self-righteous. He went out condemned.

So this is something we're learning from this experience. the Lord is very tender to those that humble themselves, that are in need, that are in a state of repentance. I also think it's encouraging to remember: God writes the law in stone, but he rights our sins in dust. And those sins that were written in the temple floor, they didn't even last through the day, did they? You know God's very good. At the end of every day, if you humble yourself before the Lord and repent of your sins and confess your sins, you can begin the next day with the joy of the Lord.

He offers forgiveness. That was a good amen. You missed that one, a good opportunity, you just missed it for an amen. Alright, let's move right along here. I think we covered the high points of this chapter.

And--oh by the way, you know, I don't want to rush past something. He said to mary, "neither do I condemn you. Go and don't get caught." Is that what he said? He said, "go and sin no more." Who said that? My Bible is in red. Is that just for mary or is that for every believer? So she comes to Jesus in the house of the Lord. She is forgiven.

How could he forgive her? Isn't it still true that adultery is a sin? Was she caught in the act? Was she guilty? How could he forgive her? Can I please offer to you? I'm maybe reading something in the Bible between the lines. I think one reason that mary, and I still can't prove that this was mary, but you can't prove it isn't, so I'm going on with my theory. I think that one reason she became his most devoted follower is there's an unspoken communication there. The only way he could let her go free, even though she was guilty, is he would trade places with her. I will take what you deserve.

Why do you think mary was the only one that anointed him before his death? Did mary hear him say to the disciples--don't forget; it says in Luke 8, "many disciples followed him and women that ministered to him of their substance." And it names mary. So when they were walking down the road, and Jesus said to the apostles--there were disciples there. Women were there too--and he said, "I'm going to Jerusalem. I'm dying. I'll rise the third day.

" She heard that. That's why she went and made that incredible purchase to anoint him before his sacrifice. She became his most devoted follower, 'cause mary somehow understood he was dying in her place. That's my hypothesis. How many of you think that might be true? I think that's true.

Anyway, so he said, "go and sin no more." By the way, it's not the only time he says that. John 5:14. "Afterwards Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, 'behold, thou art made whole. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.'" So this was not the only time Jesus said that. He also in the Gospel of John says it to the man who is healed, "go and sin no more.

" Jesus did not come to save us in our sin. As merciful and tenderhearted as he is, he loves us so much, he loves us too much to leave us in our sin. Sin is our problem, so he wants to save us from our sins. He saves us from our past sins and he gives us power to live new lives. Do you believe that? He changes us, gives us victory.

Alright, and what else could Jesus say? Wouldn't you be disappointed if Jesus said, "try to sin a little less?" I mean is that what a Christian is, someone who just sins a little less? Or does he come to save us from sin and make us holy? We're new creatures. Alright, let's go on to the next section, "for the children." Matthew 19, and I'll read verses to 15. "Then little children were brought to him that he might put his hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, 'let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the Kingdom of heaven.' And he laid hands on them and departed from there." Now you read this same story, he says, "he was much displeased," in the other Gospels, during this story, that they would do this, "and he took them up in his arms and put his hands on them." How many of you would like to see a dvd of that experience, of Jesus, the expression on his face, of all the children gathered around with the mothers prodding them on and him taking them up in their arms? And--you know, I saw something kind of close to this in india. And I'm almost hesitating sharing this with you, 'cause I am not Jesus.

But the people there have a great reverence for preachers in india. Something about their religion, they sort of--they make an association between the great reverence they got for the gurus and the priests there, very high respect. And when you come as a visiting pastor and they see you up teaching the word, boy, if you'll just put their hand on their head, they appreciate it so much. And so many times they would come up. And they'd bring their babies.

And they'd hold up their babies. And they didn't want me to offer long prayer, "just touch our baby." And any of you been to india? You know what I'm talking about? Maybe you've seen this before. And it just breaks your heart, all these--and they're crowding and crushing each other just to have the pastor touch their baby. You know, and so it gives you some idea what it meant. And it was important to Jesus.

And what would sometimes be brokenhearted, these dear indian mothers would come up and they'd say, "will you please touch my baby?" And then they'd tell you about some illness or sickness the baby has. And they're hoping that just your touch is gonna do something. They got so much faith. And I pray that God answered their prayers, 'cause I think the Lord often healed because of their faith. Jesus said, "because of your faith," not 'cause of the preacher's powers.

But the tenderness that Jesus must have had in that he cared. He was never too busy, works all day long, forgot to eat, tired, but when the mothers came with their children, he had time for that. And I think that's very important. Are children more important than old people? Well, let's think about this for a second. Hotel's on fire, and you only got time--you're the maintenance man--to unlock one door on this floor before you're overtaken by the flames.

In one room you've got two children, 10 years old. In another room, you've got an old couple, 70 years old. You've only got time to unlock one door. Alright now, by show of hands, how many are gonna unlock the door of the 70-year-old couple? Respect your elders! Don't--you know, isn't there Scripture for that? Alright, how many would unlock the door with the two -year-olds in it? Why? Which is wiser: the 10-year-olds or the elders? The elders. Who deserves more respect? The elders.

Who is losing more if they die? The children. Their whole lives are before them. They've got the hope. Now that's something we should remember. And we're all valuable to God.

Don't you hate when we create these hypothetical stories. It makes you make difficult decisions. But Jesus recognized that, that they've got more hope. And by the way, when are folks more likely to accept the Lord, in their young age or their old age? Before the concrete sets. Oh by the way, you know, this is wonderful time to remind everybody that this fall, Amazing Facts is going to be having a unique, satellite, evangelistic program.

It'll be on these networks right here. It's called, "Amazing Adventure." It's a satellite, evangelistic series especially for kids. And we encourage your churches to register. It's going to be 10 days--this is a commercial, I know. It's gonna be 10 days from September 12th to the 20th.

We're uplinking from just outside of Dallas. It's richardson, Texas. And we're gonna go through the highlights of the Gospel, encourage these young people to accept the Lord. And we're doing this, 'cause this is the most tender time in their lives. It's for kids like from to 12 years of age.

And I'm more excited about this evangelistic program than anything we've ever done. We're doing all new lessons. And you know, it's neat then; about a month late pastor finley is following up with a regular, full-blown satellite evangelistic series, so we can bring all the kids to this series, meet some of the parents, and then bring the parents to the other series. And so I think it's a great opportunity for evangelism this fall. And we hope that--oh, and if you want more information, register your church.

Do it now. It's called, "Amazing Facts kids," Amazing Facts kids, www.amazingfactskids.org. Yeah, I think that's right. And start praying for these meetings. I'm so excited about this and the devil's probably real upset, because if you can get the kids at this time in their life--anyway, so Jesus loved the children.

And he had this tenderness for 'em. Matthew 18, I think I called that out earlier, Matthew 18:1. Do you still have that, andrew? Matthew 18. Read verses 1 through 3. We'll find out more about Jesus' tenderness for the children.

"At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, 'who is greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?' And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, 'verily, I say unto you, except you be converted and become as little children, you shall not even enter into the Kingdom of heaven.'" You know another reason that Jesus demonstrated this tenderness for children is not because he wants us to know that he cares about little people and young people. What are you when you are just baptized? Are you born again? Are we like little children? You know, when Jesus says, "woe unto him that makes one of these little ones stumble," he's not just talking about how it breaks the heart of God when people mistreat children. He's talking about when someone might lead a baby Christian astray when their faith is still young and their hearts are vulnerable. And sometimes these wolves come in and start to teach them heresy. And the Lord is saying, "don't make these little ones stumble, don't discourage 'em.

" When some of the old, established church members do mean, ornery things to discourage new Christians, be tender with them. You know, it always concerns me as an evangelist when new people come into the church, and they make a lot of mistakes; they're babies. They're still learning. I mean being a Christian, a biblical Christian, it requires months and years of learning a whole new way of life, a whole new way of thinking. It's a whole new culture.

It's a whole new walk. And babies need time to walk. And sometimes, you know, people will walk into church and they're new Christians, and they're so excited. And I've seen it before. Somebody walking into church and they had their big starbucks cup.

And I knew who the person was. And I thought, "they don't know that that's probably not appropriate." And I thought, "oh, I hope whoever talks to them, if anyone talks to 'em, they'll be gentle." Because, you know, sometimes the saints will say, "how dare you bring caffeine into the house of the Lord?" You know what I'm saying? They don't know. And it hasn't occurred to them to look around and see there's no cup holders anywhere. And I've seen--so you gotta be tender with people. Or they come in and they don't know.

And they're dressed like they're going to the beach. And it's a house of God. And we should be reverent and respectful. And they need to be taught that. But if you're gonna teach 'em, be gentle.

They might be wearing the only thing they've got. And so you just gotta be tender with the babies and teach 'em gently. Don't be harsh. Jesus was gentle with children. Amen? And so we want to follow the example of our Lord and to remember that tenderness that he showed.

I want to also read, in keeping with that last verse that andrew just read, Luke 18:17, Jesus said, "assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it." You know, there's a lot of ways that we must learn from the children, to have that simple faith. You know, kids are--it doesn't take much. Matter of fact, sometimes I take advantage of their simple faith. And I'll tell you--nathan's in his class now, so I can tell you this. I'll tell them sometimes a little, some tall tales just to get 'em going.

And you know, they're little, you're walking along the sidewalk after it rained and you see this puddle. And I'll say, "now don't step in that puddle." I said, "you see that blue sky in the puddle?" I say, "you step in there, you just gonna fall right into the sky." You know, stuff like that. Of course, you gotta be careful doing that, 'cause then they get where they don't believe anything dad says. But I just want to know if I'm alone. How many of you parents have sometimes teased your kids a little bit? And then, you know, you always tell 'em.

And you want 'em to have a sense of humor. But they're believing, you know? And so you gotta be careful what you tell 'em, 'cause their hearts are, they're faithful. They believe. And we sometimes get cynical and jaded as we are in the church for years, because sometimes our prayers aren't answered and we start to doubt. Don't lose your childlike faith.

Don't stop dreaming big dreams. God is more pleased by your having too much faith rather than having too much reality. I think he'd rather have you believe a little too much, because God loves to work miracles and honor our simple--haven't you ever known some people in the church, they've got that childlike faith. They're always praying these outrageous prayers. And they get these incredible answers.

And you think, "man, boy, they sure are reckless with their faith. They believe all kinds of things." But they're the ones who get the big answers too. And they tell you these stories. You know, and I won't tell you any of the stories right now, but you know what I'm talking about. Alright, well, we want to get a little longer, further along in our lesson.

For the Lazarus family, we don't know Lazarus and Martha and mary's last name, but the family in bethany, the house of Lazarus and Martha and mary. Jesus showed great love for them. You can read about that in Luke 11:5, 11:5, "now Jesus loved Martha and her sister," that was mary, "and Lazarus." Some people have tried to create an argument that Jesus had some kind of an inappropriate relationship with mary magdalene or mary of bethany. By the way, this is further proof that they're the same mary. But it also says he loved Lazarus.

He just loved the family. It was a pure love. There's nothing in the Bible that supports it was anything other than that. But he had a tenderness for them. John 11:35-36, when he found out that Lazarus was dead, he stopped what he was doing in his busy schedule of itinerate messianic preaching among the people of God so that he could go, just to see his friend miles away.

Jesus had a tenderness in his heart. And there he is at the tomb of Lazarus. And what did he do there? You've read that before. "Jesus wept." And his weeping was so profound, it says that those watching, they said, "behold, how he loved him!" Jesus just wept and sobbed and heaved, but by the way, was he weeping for Lazarus? What was getting ready to happen to Lazarus? He was gonna raise him. So why was Jesus weeping? I think that Jesus, looking at all those there that were weeping, for one thing, I think that Jesus was weeping for everybody who ever lost a loved one.

He was empathizing. He was just groaning and crying for everybody that stood by a grave of a loved one. There's a tenderness in the heart of God. He feels our pain. He was also weeping because he knew the hardness of the hearts of the nation he had come to save, his own people, and what they were gonna do.

And he wasn't weeping for Lazarus. He was getting ready to raise Lazarus. Lazarus was getting ready to go through the ultimate healing. You don't get any sicker than being dead. Well, you do get a little sicker than being dead.

If you're dead in sin, you're sicker still. But he's getting ready to completely heal Lazarus. He was weeping for others at that time. So the Lord felt that tenderness, but he loved that family. And then you've got that story there in Luke 10:38-42.

"Now it happened as he went and he entered a certain village; a certain woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His Word." And you know the story. Martha's rip snorting around the kitchen getting ready for dinner, probably the dinner at Simon's house, it comes up later in the Gospels. And mary's just sitting there. And Martha's thinking, you know, "there's so much to do.

I'm running out of time. We've gotta get all this food together. And mary's just sitting there. And Jesus. Look if she's not gonna--i don't want to be disrespectful to you, but she'll listen to you.

If you tell her to get in the kitchen and help me, she'll help." I'm paraphrasing. Don't you see I'm, you know, busy? And probably standing there with her arms folded and saying, "Lord, tell her to help me." And what did Jesus say? Tenderness in his voice, "Martha, Martha, you're troubled about so many things. One thing is needful. Mary has chosen that good part, and it will not be taken away from her." The one thing was seeking first the Kingdom. And you know, some of us are like Martha in that we're doing the work of the Lord all the time, but we risk forgetting about the Lord of the work.

You can get so busy doing the work of the Lord, you forget the Lord of the work. And I am so thankful for the Marthas in our church. I wish we had more of 'em. Bless their hearts. But the Marthas need to be careful that they don't get too busy to forget the priorities of seeking first the Kingdom.

Now, he showed a great tenderness there when he raised Lazarus. There's another example of that. Luke 8:54, I think I gave that to somebody. "But he put them all out, took her by the hand and called, saying, 'little girl, arise.'" You remember the story where the daughter of jarius died? And everyone was mocking, and saying, "she's dead. What are you saying, 'she's asleep' for?" And Jesus put 'em all out.

Listen to how he raises the little girl. He takes her by the hand. And he doesn't yell at her, "get up. You're late for school." It's just so tender. There's a tenderness about everything Jesus does.

You picture Jesus folding his grave clothes. Now why is this so important for us? John 14:9. "Jesus said to him, 'have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen The Father; so how can you say, 'show us The Father?'" Jesus wanted to let us know, "I'm here to be a reflection of The Father. So when you look at the tenderness of Christ, who's tenderness are we also seeing? How many of you have met people before, and they say, "you know, I really love Jesus. And I could believe in Jesus, 'cause he's a God of love, but the God of the Bible, the God of the old testament seems very harsh and judgmental and wrathful and stern.

" Have you heard people articulate these things before? They really don't know their Bibles, because for one thing the new testament talks about the wrath of the lamb. Jesus has that component too. You read about the wrath of the lamb and all the tribes of the earth mourn and he's coming with power. And then you read in the old testament about the tenderness. God is full of compassion.

His mercy endures forever. He's a tender, compassionate God. So it's the same God. And Jesus is saying, "if you want to find out what The Father's like, well, he's like me." If you've seen me, you've seen The Father." Our God in heaven is long suffering to usward. He's not willing that any should perish.

He is tenderhearted. And this is what's wonderful about Jesus that's shown us. And then finally--i don't have time for much more-- but someone read for me Matthew 5:44. We're gonna read about Jesus' tenderness with his enemies. "But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.

" Am I the only one here that finds this is one of the hardest Christian virtues to live out, to love those who speak ill of you, who use you, who mock you, who persecute you? I say, "oh Lord, you know, the only way I can really love 'em is to remember how much you paid for 'em, 'cause I love you. And if you placed that much value on them, I guess I could love 'em too." You know what I mean? You've gotta think about loving them because he loves them. And when you really love the Lord, it's easier to love what he loves. If you look at other people through Jesus, you see his love for them. You can do it.

If you just look straight at them, you can have the opposite experience. The Bible's full of examples of how much Jesus loved his enemies. Even when Judas betrayed 'em, what did Jesus call Judas? He says, "friend, friend, you've come to betray me with a kiss." At the crucifixion, "father, forgive them. They don't know what they're doing." I mean I'd be saying, "father, strike them with lightening." You know, "look what they're doing to me! Get even!" And Jesus is praying for their forgiveness. Proverbs, it's a new and an old testament teaching.

It's the same God in the old testament. "If your enemy is hungry, give 'em bread to eat. If he's thirsty, give him water to drink. The law of Moses said, "if your enemy's donkey falls under a burden, you shall help him. If his ox goes astray, you will bring it back.

" We're to overcome evil with good. Love your enemies. It's a teaching all through the Bible. Show kindness. One time through Elisha's intervention, the army of Israel completely captured the army of syria.

And the King of Israel said, "shall we assassinate them all?" Or "shall we execute them all?" And Elisha says, "no!" He said, "give 'em something to eat. Give 'em some food. Give 'em something to drink. Send them home." And you know, they did that, and it says, "the raiding bands of the syrians came no more into the lands of Israel," because they overcame Israel with good. So anyway, we're out of time, friends.

I think we've got the basic principles here. And we want to thank you for studying with us. Thank our extended class. And don't forget, if you've missed part of this, you can go to amazingfacts.tv, and you'll find an archive of this study there. God bless you until next Sabbath.

Thank you for joining us for this broadcast. If you've missed any of our Amazing Facts programs, visit our website at amazingfacts.org. There you'll find an archive of all our television and radio programs, including "Amazing Facts presents," "central study hour," "everlasting Gospel," "Bible answers live," and "wonders in the word." You'll also find a storehouse of biblical resources geared toward answering some of your most difficult questions. And our online Bible school is just a click away. One location, so many possibilities: amazingfacts.org.

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