My morning devotional study found me pondering Luke 19:10 how Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. I’d been to that verse many times before and could easily quote it by heart. This particular break of day I needed to be reminded of the reason for my existence. The words articulated it so well. It’s all about seeking the lost and training the found. A side note in my Bible titled Jesus as the “Seeking Savior” and sent me fumbling through the pages to a reference in Matthew 9:36:
“But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”
The journey in writing this lesson starts in this verse and fuels my trip with the same passion, burden, and vision that gripped my Seeking Savior. He saw the multitudes generally and individual faces specifically. As they scurried about their daily duties, disguised with smiles and happy-go-lucky attitudes, He saw through all of that, to the very heart of the matter. He peered deep into their souls. They were confused, scattered, troubled, tired, distressed, aimless, hurting, helpless, hopeless, perishing, loaded-down, lost sheep needing a shepherd; someone to guide them into the protective fold. The verse closes with sad, convicting words: “having no shepherd.”
He saw: He considered their plight. He had a vision for their destiny. I want to see souls as Jesus sees them. He readily identified the spiritual needs of those He encountered.
He was moved: I want to be moved, stirred, and captivated by the very things that move, stir, and captivate the heart and mind of God.
His heart broke: I want my heart to be broken with the things that break the heart of God. Sounds simple but it is inevitably heart-wrenching.
He was moved with compassion: He felt what they felt. He had a deep awareness of their suffering. He was interconnected with them. He took action to help. His bowels yearned. His compassion was birthed deep within. I want to feel compassion for the lost in two ways: from His point-of-view and from theirs. How long has it been since you put yourself in their place? Imagine the feelings of being lost, hopeless, or drowning. Surely, such compassion will lead to incite, inspire, and invigorate an enthusiastic, whole-hearted, genuine, lively, fiery, deep, passion. It’s okay to get emotional about hurled, hungry humanity.
Note what Jesus said once he saw their state, was moved by the masses, heart-broken at their helplessness, and was compassionate about their calamity. It spoke to His “disciples.” That is a general term used for the twelve that followed Him. But, it is more than that. We are called to make disciples and to be disciples. Disciples are learners. Jesus wanted to teach students something. If you are following the scenario patiently and perceptively you will quickly unveil that the Seeking Savior was endeavoring to give His followers a game plan or a strategy of world evangelism. He has a game plan for winning; winning souls that is. Let’s check it out.
“Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few” (Matthew 9:37).