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Jesus Loves Addicts – Luke 4:16-18; Matthew 11:19 – Skip Heitzig

When a person ingests a substance or engages in an activity that provides temporary pleasure and then such acts become compulsive and interfere with ordinary life responsibilities, he or she is said to be an addict. Addictive behavior is widespread and is one of the reasons many addicts turn to Christ for help. Jesus has a special message for them and a special plan to help them. As the body of Christ to our generation, shouldn’t the church be part of that plan?

This teaching is from our series Jesus Loves People with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.

In a world where addiction is rampant and often stigmatized, it’s easy for those struggling with substance abuse or other addictive behaviors to feel isolated and hopeless. However, the message of Jesus offers a beacon of hope and healing to all who are broken and in need of redemption. In this article, we’ll explore the profound love and compassion that Jesus demonstrated towards addicts and how His teachings provide a path to freedom and restoration.

The Ministry of Jesus: Bringing Good News to the Brokenhearted

In Luke 4:16-18, we see Jesus proclaiming His mission in the synagogue at Nazareth:

“He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.'”

In this passage, Jesus declares His mission to bring good news to the poor, freedom for the prisoners, and recovery of sight for the blind. This proclamation encompasses not only physical poverty and blindness but also spiritual poverty and bondage. Jesus came to offer hope and restoration to all who are broken and in need of His grace.

The Compassion of Jesus: Reaching Out to Sinners and Addicts

Throughout His ministry, Jesus demonstrated extraordinary compassion and love towards those society deemed as outcasts and sinners. In Matthew 11:19, Jesus is criticized by the religious leaders for associating with tax collectors and sinners:

“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”

Despite the judgment and condemnation of the religious elite, Jesus showed kindness, acceptance, and forgiveness to those who were marginalized and rejected by society. He ate with tax collectors, healed the sick, and offered hope to the lost and broken. Jesus’ ministry exemplified His unwavering love and compassion for all, regardless of their past mistakes or present struggles.

Jesus loves addicts

The Promise of Jesus: Healing and Restoration for All

In Matthew 11:28, Jesus extends a powerful invitation to all who are weary and burdened by the weight of sin and addiction:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

This invitation is a promise of hope and restoration for all who are broken and in need of His grace. Jesus offers a pathway to freedom and healing, inviting individuals to lay down their burdens and find rest in Him. Through faith in Jesus Christ, addicts can experience forgiveness, redemption, and transformation from the inside out.

Conclusion: Embracing the Love and Compassion of Jesus

The message of Jesus offers hope and healing to all who are struggling with addiction. His ministry exemplified love, compassion, and acceptance towards the broken and marginalized, demonstrating His unwavering commitment to offering redemption and restoration to all who come to Him. No matter how deep the addiction or how far gone one may feel, Jesus’ love knows no bounds and His grace is sufficient to heal and transform. May all who are burdened by addiction find solace and strength in the arms of Jesus, knowing that they are loved, accepted, and cherished beyond measure.

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