Take Me to the Alley!

Series: Jesus and The Disinherited


Aim: After studying this series and lesson, the student will see that even though Jesus loves us all, His ministry was mostly to the disinherited.  He did not come for the rich, the popular, the famous, nor the well-off. But He came to show and demonstrate His love for the down and out, the overlooked, the sick, the least, the last and the lost!


In contrast to the other gospels, the distinguishing characteristic of Luke’s gospel is that it highlights Jesus’ permanent relationship and contact with the poor and oppressed.  The special love that God has for the exiles of the earth is one of the dominant theological themes of Luke’s gospel.  Luke shows God’s love for. . .

  • The needy and the defenseless
  • The weak and the oppressed
  • The disinherited
  • The scorned who are treated as disposable trash or social waste

From the beginning of the story of Jesus, Luke highlights the particular concern that God has for the social sectors considered as leftover or disposable according to some religious regulations and cultural standards of the first century.  Mmm, did I say first century? Sounds like the 21st century as well!

Who are the poor, the marginalized in the first century?   In a society marked by insensitive religious values, the levels of marginalization were:

  • Economic (the poor)
  • Social (women, children, the sick, and tax collectors)
  • Cultural (Samaritans, women, and children)
  • Religious (women, tax collectors, Samaritans, and the sick)

On this scene steps Jesus and makes His announcement!

Luke 4:16-19 (NKJV)

16   So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.

17   And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

18   “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;

19   To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Isaiah 61:1-2 (NKJV)

1     “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

2     To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,’

  1. The Announcement

 Jesus. . .

  • Discloses. . .
  • He is the long awaited and anticipated promised Messiah of Israel.
  • He is speaking in the fullness of time to a chosen nation composed of God’s precious, peculiar and particular people.

Galatians 4:4 (NABS) – But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law

  • He is the Messiah

Luke 2:11 (NASB) – for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

John 1:41 (NABS) – He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which translated means Christ).

  • He is the Redeemer
  • He is the Eternal King
  • Delivers. . .
  • The Promise
  • The Purpose
  • Divulges. . .
  • His Mission
  • His Message
  1. The Anointing
  2. The Messiah was to be anointed by the Spirit (v. 18)
  3. The Messiah was to be both called and equipped by the Spirit

Luke 3:21-22 (NKJV) – 21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”

  1. The Action
  2. The Messiah was to preach the gospel
  3. The word “gospel” means “good news.” But it also means evangelize.
  4. The Messiah was to preach to or evangelize two classes of people:
  5. He was to preach to the poor.  The “poor” means not only poor in material possession but also poor in spirit.
  6. He was to preach deliverance to the captives. 
  7. The Messiah was to minister.  A threefold ministry was mentioned:
  8. He was to heal the brokenhearted.  Note that He was not only to help the brokenhearted, He was to heal the brokenhearted.  Those who were:
  9. Crushed by grief                                    Shattered
  10. Blemished by sin                                    Oppressed
  11. Infected                                                 Injured
  12. Diseased                                                Weakened

b)   He was to give sight to the blind.  Not only to those who were spiritually blind, but to those who were physically blind.

c)    He was to set at liberty those who were bruised.  He was to set free those who were physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually bruised.  Those who were. . .

Ø  Disabled                                                 Hurting

Ø  Injured                                                    Afflicted

Ø  Wounded                                               Battered

Luke 4:20-21 (NKJV) 20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

IV.         The Accomplishment

(1)            The word “today” is important.  The people thought of the Messiah’s coming and the Messianic age in terms of the future.  Jesus proclaimed that He was the Messiah – that the Messianic Age was then and now – that all the Scripture of Isaiah was fulfilled in Him.  He proclaimed. . .

Ø  that He was the One upon whom the Spirit abode

Ø  that He was the One anointed to preach the gospel to the poor and captives.

Ø  that He was the One who healed the brokenhearted

Ø  that He was the One who gave sight to the blind

Ø  that He was the one who freed the bruised

Ø  that He was the One who preached the acceptable year of the Lord, the age of salvation.

(2)            He left His church to do the same work that He did!

John 14:12 (NKJV) – “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.

John 20:21 (NKJV) – So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

Luke 4:18 (NCV) – “The Lord has put his Spirit in me because he appointed me to tell the Good News to the poor. He has sent me to tell the captives they are free and to tell the blind that they can see again.   God sent me to free those who have been treated unfairly

John 5:1-9 (NKJV)

1     After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

2     Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches.

3     In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.

4     For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.

5     Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.

6     When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”

7     The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”

8     Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”

9     And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.  And that day was the Sabbath.


Jesus came to Jerusalem, but He did not go to the upper crust to fellowship.  He went to the sheep market where the lowly and hurting gathered.  They were not all sick alike, but they were alike sick.  They all had not the same problem, but they all had the same need.  All need a physician; all needed a healer.  It is a show of the sinner’s position.  We may examine one another and declare that we are not as bad as another but we are all bad off:

  • The religious and the rebellious
  • The professional and the prostitute
  • The dignified and the drunkard
  • The church member and the Christ-hater
  • The educated elite and the ignorant fool
  • The wealthy socialite and the bankrupt addict

All have problems and they all have the same need.  All men need Jesus!

One man sat by the pool for 38 years and looked with dreamy eyes upon water that he believed would help him, if he could but reach it.  Still he was not qualified.  Many stare at the baptismal pool in the same fashion, and they seek to get good enough to one day get into the pool, but they never will.  If they were able to get into the pool, the water still would not heal!  It was the touch of God’s messenger that healed!  This man needed Jesus, as we do!

  1. Sorrowful Condition
  2. Sick
  3. Sin
  1. Sad Position
  2. Who: a certain man
  3. Where: One among so many:
  4. The lame
  5. The blind
  6. The withered
  7. The waiting
  1. Surprising Question
  1. Shallow Admission
  • Simple Direction
  • Rise
  • Remove your bed
  • No relapse

John 5:14 (NKJV) – Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”

  • Strong Declaration
  • Duty to worship

Psalm 100:4 (NKJV) – Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

1 Chronicles 16:29 (NKJV) – Give to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!

  • Duty to remember

Deuteronomy 4:9 (GNT) – Be on your guard! Make certain that you do not forget, as long as you live, what you have seen with your own eyes. Tell your children and your grandchildren.

  • Duty to sin no more

John 8:11 (KJV) – She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

PRAYER PRINCIPLE:                     Be thankful that regardless of our situation, God is willing to provide aid.

SOCIAL JUSTICE PRINCIPLE:       Share with others the need to be of service to others until their situation changes.

EVANGELISM PRINCIPLE:            Share the great news that Christ died for all believers regardless of our class status.

STEWARDSHIP PRINCIPLE:            Giving helps others experience Christ in the best way possible.

DISCIPLESHIP PRINCIPLE:            When you find yourself in a situation that seems impossible, serve your way out of the situation while seeking a resolution from God through prayer.

NEXT WEEK’S TITLE: Riddle, Riddle, Riddle, Re – I See Something You Don’t See

SERIES:          Jesus and the Disinherited

NEXT WEEK’S READING ASSIGNMENT: John 9:1-11; Luke 7:11-15; Luke 6:20-26;Luke 13:10-17; John 8:32-36; Luke 15:15-17; Mark 2:1-12; Matthew 15:21-28

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