Friday, October 27, 2023

What God Values

The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. (Luke 10:1 NLT)

It was a critical time in the ministry of Jesus. His ministry in Galilee was over, and His journey to Jerusalem had begun. 

So Jesus selected seventy-two disciples in addition to the Twelve who already were following Him. He gave these new disciples a special commission to work like an advance team going into various communities and cities. 

He also gave them these instructions: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields. Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves” (Luke 10:2-3).

Clearly Jesus cared about people. In Matthew’s treatment of the same story, we read, “When he [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36 NLT).

Jesus felt compassion for these people. He loved and cared about them. Everywhere Jesus went, people mobbed Him. And not only did He take time for the people who wanted a touch here or a word there, but He also sought out hurting and empty people.

For instance, there was the woman at the well in Samaria. Because of the tension between the Jews and Samaritans, it was highly unusual for Jesus to go to a city in Samaria. Not only that, but He sought out an immoral woman who had been married and divorced five times. Then, He engaged her in conversation. He went out of His way to meet with her.

He also went to Jericho and met the tax collector Zacchaeus. He called Zacchaeus to come down from the tree where he was sitting and said, “I must be a guest in your home today” (Luke 19:5 NLT).

People criticized Jesus for talking to someone who made his living off the misery of others. But Jesus said, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost” (verses 9–10 NLT).

In the original language, the word Jesus used for “lost” speaks of something with value that is broken. And people are broken because of sin.

Yet Jesus sees behind the facade. He sees behind the defense mechanisms and hears the real cry of their hearts. We need to see people the same way. They are people for whom Christ died.

These are critical times for getting the gospel out. There are open doors today that may not remain open forever. Jesus, speaking to the last days church, said, “I have opened a door for you that no one can close” (Revelation 3:8 NLT).

We need to recognize how valuable souls are to God. Jesus said there is rejoicing in Heaven over one sinner who repents (see Luke 15:7 NLT). God cares about souls. And we need to care about them as well.

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