Grace Community Church

Jesus’ Inclusion of the Excluded – Part 1

Given on June 26, 2022 by Brett Helvie
Scripture: Matthew 8:1-4

What do you think are some of the reasons that cause people to feel spiritually excluded and distant from God in our culture? How do you typically respond when you’ve messed up and your behavior has made you “unclean” before God?
Imagine for a moment how it would feel to be a leper in first century Israel. How would this disease have affected you physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually? How does Jesus’ response to the leper’s request strike you? What response do you think he was expecting from a “holy” teacher like Jesus?
What are the types of people we usually think belong in the “Kingdom of God”? What does Jesus’ inclusion of the most excluded of all first century Jews – a leper – do to our categories of “who’s in and who’s out”? How does this leper manifest the first three beatitudes? Mt. 5:3-5
While on this earth, Jesus’ was constantly healing people physically (Mt 4:23&24). Does he still heal today? Why don’t you think Jesus heals all who come to him and request it today? If you have battled with illness, how has it impacted your spiritual life?