He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight off, and froze. When he heard nothing more, he shook his head and continued.

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JOKE: A burglar broke into a house one night. He shined his flashlight around, looking for valuables when a voice in the dark said, 'Jesus knows you're here.'

He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight off, and froze. When he heard nothing more, he shook his head and continued.

Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he heard 'Jesus is watching you.'

Startled, he shined his light around frantically, looking for the source of the voice. Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot.

'Did you say that?' he snapped at the parrot.

'Yes', the parrot confessed, then squawked, 'I'm just trying to warn you that he's watching you.'

The burglar relaxed. 'Warn me, huh? Who in the world are you?' 'Moses,' replied the bird.

'Moses?' the burglar laughed. 'What kind of people would name a bird Moses?'

'The kind of people who would name a Rottweiler Jesus.'

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And that is what I want to talk about today. Not a dog named Jesus, but that Jesus does indeed notices you.

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Sometimes I wonder how much we really know Jesus. I believe many know about Him, but just how much do we really know who He is and what he's like.

Our mission at The Potters House is to have people Encounter God. . .Reflect His Glory. . .Be transformed into His image. The whole thing is for us to reach those that don’t really know Him.

Jesus said, if you're already healthy, you don't need a physician.

And I think it also holds true that if you think you're righteous, you probably don't think you need a redeemer.

So, here’s the thing we need to be aware of. In our neck of the woods we have hundreds dare I say thousands of people that we encounter that don’t know Jesus. They don’t have a relationship with Papa God. Because they have not encountered Jesus.

I'm convinced that people often have a lot of misunderstandings about who God is, about what the church is. And sometimes those misunderstandings come because we've created a bit of a Christian culture of our own that may not always reflect the life of Jesus, and we should reflect His life.

If I’m being honest church sometimes we add in a lot of our own ideas and flavors to what we think Christianity is. And it doesn’t reflect who Jesus said it was. (Talk about rules, etc)

So today I want to spend some time refreshing your memory on who Jesus was, what He stood for, what he fought for, what he died and rose from the dead for.

If I really want to get to know him, if I want to know what he's like, if I want to know who Jesus is and what he's all about, I need to go to the Scriptures and start looking at the stories of how he interacted with people.

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Hebrews 1:1–3 (NIV): In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he

appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

We've been in this series looking through some of the miracles of Jesus, that he did in his life. We’ve talked about the first miracle at the wedding, we looked at feeding the 5000. Today I want to talk about a miracle in Jesus' life that he performed, that wasn’t just about the power of God, but also deals with the compassion of Jesus as well. Most of the miracles we see His compassion, but today I want to spend a few minutes looking a little closer at that.

As with all the other miracles the power of God is certainly

displayed, but I want to take up a little different angle from which you see in this story. Today we're going to talk about what

happens when Jesus sees you in pain.

I want to read a story out of the book of Luke Chapter Seven.

Jesus, early in his ministry, was traveling from place to place and often found himself interrupting actually more like ruining funerals.

Maybe you have seen the movie at least heard of the movie, wedding crashers. Well Jesus was a funeral crasher.

Funerals in Jesus' day were similar to weddings. When we talked about Jesus turning the water into wine at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, I mentioned that the wedding was a six or seven daylong celebration. It was a festival. Lots of people came. Funerals were similar in that lots of people would turn out, lots of people who weren't part of the funeral at all would just show up. The

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procession would be walked through the middle of the town square so that the public could come and support the family. So keep that in mind as we read this story and think about Jesus and his disciples showing up and crashing in on this funeral.

Luke 7:11–17 (NIV) - 11Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. 12As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.

And a large crowd from the town was with her. 13When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” 14Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!”

15The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. 16They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” 17This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.

Now there's certainly a miracle that took place, Jesus definitely displayed the power of God. Jesus raised the dead. He has the power of life and death.

Remember He told Martha and Mary that He was the resurrection and life. So, during this miracle His power is certainly on display.

I think that's what the crowd noticed that day. They see Jesus walk right up to the pallbearers, tell them to stop. They're usually carrying the coffin on their shoulders. So they stop and Jesus reaches out and touches it.

Can you imagine interrupting the procession while everyone's eyes are turning to you? They all are crying, carrying the casket to the place of burial, they are approaching town everyone is looking on them all of a sudden, what is this guy up to? And Jesus walks right up, and He touches that coffin and from inside they hear a

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noise, a voice and the boy comes back to life and the crowd that day is amazed. Probably a little afraid as well. They're awe struck by the power and the glory of God. I suppose they were looking at each other thinking I can't believe what Jesus just did.

Did you see that?

And often we look at this story in Scripture and we have the same type of response, we see the miracle. After all it’s hard to miss.

Boy dead in a coffin, now no longer dead. MIRACLE!

But what catches my attention in the story that I think is easily overlooked reading this and my guess the crowd probably didn't really notice that day either, is how Jesus interacted with the widow herself. There's an interesting thing that comes up in this story that repeats itself throughout Jesus' ministry.

That’s what I want to spend a few moments on. How Jesus interacts with us on our worst possible days, in the moments of life that seem the hardest, when we're in pain, when we're

suffering.

The Scripture in our text points out that she's a widow she has not only lost her husband, and we are not told how long ago that was, but her son has died as well.

There is something we need to understand about this. In the

days of Jesus, she couldn't just run out and get a job. There were no public programs like Welfare, food stamps, or Social Security to take care of her. Nothing is left for her and so her son was supposed to care for her financially throughout the rest of her life and now her son is gone too. And so, shes not only mourning the loss of her child, but she is also facing the future and wondering about the uncertainty of what life holds for her.

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And so, Jesus comes and interacts with her in a special way, on the day she needed comfort more then any other. Jesus comes with compassion and hope.

What I want to do this morning is just draw out how Jesus feels about you when you're in pain. And church you do need to understand if you’re not aware of it yet. God sees your pain, cares about your pain. That’s why He says to cast all your cares upon Him for He cares for you.

The first thing I want you to notice about the story is this. Jesus sees you when you're in pain. He notices this widow in the funeral procession. He sees her, He sees her in her pain.

Now I think that some of us, what we want is for Jesus to fix it all.

We're looking for our miracle, our breakthrough.

I'm in pain, I'm walking through a difficult situation, I’m walking through an uncertainty about the future. I've gone through a loss be it job or the loss of a parent, friend or child.

And what we often want from God is for God to come and take that pain away or fix the problem or stop death from happening to us in the first place. We want Jesus to fix the circumstance, to fix the problem.

And there is nothing wrong with that we should have an

expectancy for that. The problem is with that however for some is that if God doesn’t fix it we don’t think He is listening or that He doesn’t care.

In this particular case, Jesus fixed the problem. He brought this boy back to life. And that is worth giving Him praise.

And for some they sometimes look at Jesus and go well, if Jesus is really good, if he's really faithful, he'll do that for me. He'll fix all

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my problems. He'll correct all the errors in my life. He'll put back what I've lost. He'll keep me from pain.

But truth is sometimes that doesn’t happen, please don’t miss the bigger picture, and that is when Jesus doesn't fix our pain, He always gets involved in it. He sees it.

He saw this widow, he notices her. And church, He sees you; He notices you.

I don’t know about you, but there have certainly been times in my life where I have felt invisible. Have you ever had that feeling?

You know the feeling your in the playground at recess, getting ready to play some basketball, or dodge ball and you have this group of kids all lined up against the wall and your saying at least to yourself pick me, pick me and everyone around you is being picked, but you. You feel invisible in moments like that don’t you?

Sometimes you can walk into a place hoping someone will take notice. You can even walk into a church hoping someone will take notice of your pain. Even begin to question and wonder why isn't God showing up and fixing things the way I want him to?

Let me share for a moment a story about Kevin Hines. Kevin Hines came to a place in his life that he felt it was no longer worth living. So, he attempted to take his life by doing what around 1600 people have done. By jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. Now understand this to survive that jump is rarely ever done, because when you hit the water below after the 4 or 5 seconds you are traveling at about 75 miles an hour. But Kevin survived in the

video I watched he mentioned that when he finally let go of the rail, he realized his mistake and asked for God to save him. He broke multiple bones nearly crushed his spine, and had to swim the 70 feet up to the top using just his arms. Now that’s not the story I want to focus on.

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But here’s the thing in his story that caught my attention. He said he took a bus to the bridge that day and when he got on the bus, tears began to wet his face and he remembers looking around at all the people sitting there and in his mind thinking or praying somehow, someone, please notice me. Someone stop me, please help. It wasn’t a verbal cry, but a cry none the less. He say the states from people, he even heard the comments under their breath. And as he got off the bus that day, he remembers making eye contact with the bus driver and almost begging with his eyes, please say something, please stop me from doing what I came here to do. And all the bus driver said as this 19-year-old is balling his eyes out in the back of the bus was, kid get off I need to go home. Then he got off the bus no one had stopped him, talked to him, and he went on. Even after 45 minutes of walking across the bridge passing tourists, joggers, police who are looking for jumpers, no one could see the pain.

He doesn't blame any of those people from that day. He

understands that we can’t really just expect other people to notice completely secret thoughts in our heads. But it's that feeling of man, I just want someone to know that I'm in pain. Someone take notice.

And what I see over and over in the Scriptures is that Jesus, he's the kind of God who sees you when no one else sees you. So, when all those thoughts are going through your head, Jesus

knows them and hears them, and he hurts with you. He sees you.

He understands what you're going through.

He saw this widow.

And here's the thing, nobody else really sees the widow. Women in Jesus' day were not considered as significant or noticeable as men. I know that’s not right. But that was the cultural in which she found herself. That was the culture of the day.

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So, it wasn't that people were going to take notice of her and take care of her, but Jesus did. And he stepped in and he saw her.

Not only did he see her, but there's a second thing that you need to understand about Jesus. Jesus feels your pain. He tells her not to cry and then he stops the procession and touches the coffin.

And Jesus involves himself in the moment of need.

Now for a lot of us, the easiest thing to do is just walk on by.

Maybe we will think to say a prayer. But Jesus instead is moved with compassion for the crowds that can't eat because they have no food. He's moved with compassion over the people who are dealing with all sorts of pains. Jesus, his heart breaks over people that are in those situations. We see it coming out in so many different stories in Scripture, Jesus is moved with

compassion.

So again, you might feel sometimes invisible, like you're

struggling with all these secret thoughts and nobody knows. But understand that Jesus knows, He's in your head when no one else is, that he's there, that he's aware, that he understands and that he is moved by your pain, by your situation.

In the book of Hebrews Chapter Four, the Bible kind of tells us about Jesus' present role in our life’s. In Hebrews 4:14 it says this. . .

Hebrews 4:14 (NIV) - 14Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.

Hebrews 4:14 (The Message) - 14–16Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—

let’s not let it slip through our fingers.

In other words, Jesus walked through all the pain, all the difficulty, all the rejection, the embarrassment, the abandonment, the false

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accusations. Jesus walked through everything we could possibly walk through in terms of pain and suffering, the physical pain, the loss of his very own life on the cross. Jesus has gone through all of that. And he serves as a high priest to whom we can go. He feels it all and he's here and he's moved by your pain. He's

touched by your infirmities. His heart breaks over what you're walking through.

Now, maybe some of you are still asking the question why doesn't he just fix it? Why doesn't he just stop the pain? Why doesn't he keep evil from happening? Why doesn't he just stop people from doing bad things?

And the reality is he could. He's an all-powerful God. He could put down nations that oppress other nations. He could wipe out powers that take advantage of other people. He could put a stop to all the evil. He could certainly step in at any moment and

control us, if that were His desire. He could make us love him.

He could make us worship him. He could make us treat each other with respect and make all the right choices. He could make us.

But a God who makes us do all of those things isn't a God who is giving free will, grace and a free choice.

I for one know that He sovereignly protects us through certain things. He certainly moves and acts in certain places and catches our attention in the way God spares this person from this difficult situation or accident. The Holy Spirit has directed me to do

something that saved me from traffic, an accident or a number of other things. We see some pictures of a tragic thing and we ask ourselves how in the world did they walk away? God’s

sovereignty, remember Kevin?

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We all live in a world of pain and suffering and a large part of that pain and suffering is a result of what we as humanity have caused.

We hate one another. We struggle for power over one another.

We oppress each other. We walk in bitterness and

unforgiveness. And we live in a world where God could certainly stop it. And yet God is giving us the opportunity to freely choose to escape it for all of eternity and to love him and to be redeemed, to be saved, to be forgiven, to be changed, to be made brand new.

One of the problems that we sometimes have with God is why doesn't God fix it? Well, here's why He doesn't fix it, because he has given us this wonderful gift of free choice so we can choose to know him, we can choose to love him. We can learn to depend upon Him, and Him alone.

He gets involved in feeling our pain. He doesn't always fix it, but he feels it none the less. And Jesus over and over again

demonstrates that in his life.

So, if you don't know Jesus, if you don't really know who he is very well, then you may not have discovered this yet, that he feels for you and He feels with you. Both of those things are true of him.

But there's a third thing he does. He acts on your pain. He moves when you're in pain. Sometimes he raises the dead, and we see that in scripture, but he doesn't always do that, does he?

Sometimes he heals illness, but he doesn't always do that.

Now I need to pause here for a moment and remind you that it is never God who causes death or sickness. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. But we are fighting a battle and the enemy is doing his best to make sure you feel unnoticed, unloved, and invisible to everyone, including God.

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So, you and I need to be persistent in our prayers, and

supplications. And believe that His promises are true even when you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I’m still believing for my healing, I have prayed for some and seen them healed. In spite of my not being healed entirely yet.

I lean on His Word. . .

Romans 5:3–4 (NIV): Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces

perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.

And love this next verse. . .

Romans 5:5 (NIV): And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

So, in those moments when it seems that He doesn’t fix it. Know that He is right there to see you through.

I want to highlight the way Jesus acts in the life of this woman because it's out of this, I want to draw the real lesson for us today and kind of send us out of here doing what Jesus did. After all that is what He calls us to do.

What Jesus does for her; he did for one person after another after another in the New Testament. He gave her three things. He

acted in her life, giving her three things that he still gives to us today.

Are you ready for them, if you’re taking notes you may want to right these down.

• He gave her a look

• He gave her a word

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• He gave her a touch

He involves himself in this situation and he sees her. He looks at her, Otis her, he sees the boy, he looks at him. He speaks to her.

He talks to her. He ministers to her with his words, don't cry, don't be in pain. Then he reaches out and touches that coffin and

touches that boy, raising him back from death to life and gives him back to her. He involves himself in the situation with a look a word and a touch.

Now I just want you to pretend for just a second that you don't know anything about Jesus, this is like the first time you ever heard about Him. All you have is someone coming to you and opening a New Testament and starting to read to you about this man, this God in the flesh who came and walked among us. And the first four books of the New Testament are going to tell you on repeat about his death and his resurrection. And those first four books of the New Testament are going to tell you story after story of Jesus' interaction with people, at least 36 different miracles that Jesus performs in the lives of people. And John goes on to say there aren't enough books to contain all the mighty works that Jesus performed.

What you're going to know about Jesus if you're starting from scratch, is Jesus sees us in our pain. He gets involved, by giving a look, a word and a touch.

You're going to see that when a crowd is surrounding him and everyone's clamoring to get some attention or a healing from Jesus.

The Bible says there's this woman with an issue of blood just reaches out and touches the hem of his garment. And he felt that. He asks who touched me and the disciples well. . .(Talk about their interaction).

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Well, everybody's seems to be touching Jesus in that moment, but he felt her, and he speaks to her and he touches her and heals her. That is Jesus over and over throughout the New Testament, He is giving people a look, a word and a touch.

In other words, if you don't know who God is and you start

reading the New Testament and you interpret who God is by what you discover about Jesus, you're going to know that God is not in some far off distant, out of touch with humanity, uncaring and uninvolved about what's going on here on earth.

You're not going to find a God who is divorced from the reality that we live in. You're not going to find a God who doesn't care about your pain or about your problems, and you're also not going to find a God who is unable to fix the issues that we face.

Hebrews 2:14–18 (NIV): Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might

break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but

Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might

become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.

18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Did you catch verse 18?

18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Let me read this from The Passion Translation

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Hebrews 2:14–18 (TPT): Since all his “children” have flesh and blood, so Jesus became human to fully identify with us. He did this, so that he could experience death and annihilate the effects of the intimidating accuser who holds against us the power of death. 15 By embracing death Jesus sets free those who live their entire lives in bondage to the tormenting dread of death. 16 For it is clear that he didn’t do this for the angels, but for all the sons and daughters of Abraham. 17 This is why he had to be a Man and take hold of our humanity in every way. He made us his brothers and sisters and became our merciful and faithful King- Priest before God; as the One who removed our sins to make us one with him. 18 He suffered and endured every test and

temptation, so that he can help us every time we pass through the ordeals of life.

So, what you're going to encounter instead is the God who is

certainly able, but even more importantly than that, looks right into your life, right into your pain, right into your struggle, right into your suffering and gives you a look, a word and a touch.

So, when you think back to those most painful, those difficult

moments of your life to those life shaping, sometimes destructive, harmful abuses and moments that you've walked through and you wondered, does God even care? Does God even notice? What the Bible presents is a God who absolutely does. Who was there, who was with you, who saw, who could step in and fix any

situation he desires, but allows us to continue on making

decisions and choices often that affect each other in sometimes very negative ways, but still does not abandon us, doesn't take his hands off of us.

Doesn't say well guys, you've messed up the planet. You all just go on and do your thing. Instead stays right here, hurting with us over the mess.

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I loved Lego’s growing up. The sets we had you could make 100 different things from one set, but now they have a whole lot of different sets. And each set cost you an arm and a leg and each set only makes the one item it was designed to make. So after you spend $200.00 on this Star wars set you need to make sure that you never loose one piece or it never goes back together like it should, much like a missing piece in a puzzle.

So, God creates this plan and he says here, paradise, Eden, it’s yours. I'm going to water it for you. I just want you to till it, to keep it, to manage and to protect the garden and to work the soil.

I just have one rule. Just one block that you don't need to pull out, one piece of the puzzle that needs to stay in place, one tree, one fruit you don't need to eat. And sometime shortly thereafter, Adam and Eve are eating of that fruit. The one thing God said not to do, and he watches the creation just begin to crumble.

And what we sometimes interpret is that God has gotten

frustrated and has taken his hands off and doesn't care anymore.

Or we put a demand on God. If you were really God, you'd come fix it for us again. And what God does instead is to say this is your world for now. He's still the God over all of creation. He never ceases to be sovereign. But he says there's a whole

system of thinking that has been developed by the evil one. This whole system of thinking that humanity embraces sometimes, and it edges God out and removes Him from the equation.

That is why Scripture tells us, to renew our mind.

But instead of abandoning it all, he says you know what? I am fixing it. I am restoring it. There is coming a day when there will be no more tears shed, no more pain, or death.

But right now, in the present season, God wants you to know I still see you. I still feel with you, and I'm still going to give you a look, a word and a touch.

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So, let me close with these two quick challenges. The first is

simply this. If you don't know Jesus, if you don't know God, I want to challenge you today to begin to see him through the eyes of scripture. You can decide that he's far off and doesn't care. But that isn't true. You cannot embrace the Bible and believe in a disengaged God. So instead embrace that God is here, that he knows your thoughts, that he sees your pain, that he feels with you, that he works on your behalf. That's who God is.

But also, I want to give you another challenge. If you're sitting in this room and you have believed in Jesus, you have a relationship with him, you now have a mission. You now live in a world where there are thousands and thousands of people and you'll bump into some of them this week at Walmart, at restaurants, at the workplace, you'll run into them everywhere. They desperately need a look, a word and a touch. Jesus physically is not here present to do that, but he is present. Guess how? Through you, through me, through us. And when we give people a look, a word, a touch, a cup of cold water in Jesus' name, we represent this

God who cares? That's what he shows us in this miracle, he cares about where you're at.

And he tells us to go and do what he did to demonstrate the Kingdom to those who don’t know. So church go.

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