Luke 19:10: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
We see this happen when Jesus spoke with a Samaritan woman and eventually revealed himself to her as the Messiah, and he told his disciples at the time that his “food” was to do the will of the father and to complete his task. The Samaritan woman was a lost one sought out by Jesus (John 4).
While he was about to open the eyes of a man born blind, Jesus said he has to be the light of the world while he was on earth (John 9:1-5). He moved with a sense of urgency share by Paul, who said: I become all things to all men so that I can save some (1Corinthians 9:22).
Salvation is the ultimate escape. The earth will be set on fire and (2Peter 3:7) anyone in it who did not believe in Jesus will find themselves down in the lake of fire where the worms do not die (Revelation 20:15).
Jesus, however, was on earth to seek and save the lost and he has also given us the same mandate, to go in his name preaching the gospel to all creature (Matthew 28:18-20). We are to connect them with the mighty mercy of God as displayed in Jesus Christ, as he made the crushingly painful journey to the cross for the sake of humanity as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29).
We are all cared for by God, and that care was revealed in Jesus. As the shepherd which leaves the 99 sheep in the sheepfold and goes to find the one lost sheep (Luke 15:1-7), according to a parable Jesus gave, Jesus left his abode in heaven, to seek out lost humanity, not just in a collective sense but in the individual sense, since God is concerned with us individually.
Jesus, to show that God cares for us says that the father knows the number of hairs on our head, and none falls to the ground without his knowledge (Matthew 6). Jesus told us: the father cares for the birds of the air and the lily in the field, how much more for us?
Humans from the time that the devil deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden have had a twisted view of God (Genesis 3). The devil convinced Eve that God was a deceiver; that he does not care for them as he claimed he did, that He does not care as he should.
From her experience before the fall, all Eve knew was that God is good, but the devil told her that God was only looking out for himself and not motivated by love, that he is not a God of love.
From that time, it had been the human default mode to believe that God was wicked. But Jesus came to manifest God as love, and restore man’s concept of God to that of seeing him as love, which is key to all other experience of God we can have. It makes us to be open to receive from him and act on his word, since because we know he loves us, we trust him.
The bible says for God so loved the word that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes him will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). You will not receive God’s gift in embracing salvation through Jesus, without embracing the fact that God is love.
With the revelation of the love of God to man those who embrace Jesus gets the veil of Satan’s lies that God is not love, that God does not care, that he is distant, peeled from their eyes, and we behold with unveiled faces the glory of God and because of that we are changed into the image of Jesus (2Corinthians 3), who came here revealing to us the great love between him and the father and wants the same to be our reality (John 17:27).
Jesus approached his task with single-mindedness. Jesus said that we should seek first the kingdom of God, and part of that is to be one with the divine purpose, with the passion of Christ for the lost (Matthew 6:33). His love for us compelled him to leave his place of glory, so also your love for souls will compel you to leave where you are, leave your prestige, your preferences.
Jesus was not given any alternative except give his life for us, laying it down (Matthew 26:42). And God expects nothing less from us. And Jesus said that to follow him we must take our cross and follow him, as he carried his (Matthew 16:24).
The message of the cross is not an easy message. It demands leaving our ways and following the ways of God. God wants us to manifest his life, so we have to leave our own life, die to self.
Those who are lost may not even know they are lost. We were blind and we thought that was the right way, but Jesus came to shine his light. John said that he came to his own but his own did not receive him but as many as received him he gave the power to become sons of God (John 1:12).
Jesus said that the disciples should go on and preach the gospel to all creature, which means leaving their comfort zone and taking the gospel to where the people are, paying the prize, using all the means, paying the spiritual price in fasting and prayer, being equipped to be an effective minister, to know the truth well enough and be convinced about it to be able to effectively communicate it to others.
When Paul goes to preach the gospel, the opposition he suffered was so intense that his life was constantly at stake, eventually he lost his life in the course of Christ (2Timothy 4:6). Not everyone will die for the course of Christ, but everyone is called to give up something (but potentially everything.)
Jesus said that if anyone wanted to follow him, and in this specific context into the work of seeking to save the lost, we must give up everything for him and the sake of the gospel. He said that whatever we give up, we will get in multiple folds (Mark 10: 29-30), just as Jesus gave up his life and had it returned to him in multiple folds (harvest) (John 12:20-25), in multitudes of souls coming to God.
We are the result of his travail, his soul pain. Isaiah wrote that he (Jesus) will see the result of his travail and will be content, he would say: it was worth it (Isaiah 53:11).
Whatever sacrifice made in the course of winning souls is well worth it. As a sole winner you get to share the joy of the Lord.
Jesus said that there is more joy over a lost and found sheep than for the 99 which were never lost. He said there is joy among the angels in heaven, which you will also share.
- 6 Evidences of Authentic Salvation (liberatinglions.wordpress.com)
- Proclaim the Gospel to the World! – Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time (Cycle A) (wdburns63.wordpress.com)
- Seed Jesus (brentkuhlman.wordpress.com)
- Separating the Sheep from the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46) (whatshotn.wordpress.com)