by Steven Chan
The good news that draws us all to God is our realization that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”(2 Cor 5:19-21). He “Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness–by whose stripes you were healed.”(1 Peter 2:24). Not only did He make it possible for all men to be saved through the sacrifice of His Son on the cross, He also commands His disciples to keep on preaching and seeking the lost so that they may be saved (Matt 28:18-20).
His effort to reconcile us to God entails sending Jesus into the world to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). So, when the disciples said to Him that “Everyone is looking for You.” 38 He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.” 39 And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee…” His mission was not to build the biggest group of followers in one single location but to go everywhere to preach to those who have yet to hear the gospel. Even though multitudes thronged to hear Him, yet He said that He must go to the next towns that He may preach there also – because that was His purpose or mission – to go everywhere to preach the gospel of the kingdom so as to seek and save the lost. That’s the story of the owner searching diligently for the lost sheep and the lost coin. So, “Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom” (Matt 4:23).
As He went about preaching the good news of the kingdom, He sought and found people of different backgrounds such as the following:-
1. “As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” (Matt 9:9)
2. And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 Then Jesus said to them, “Come after Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” (Mark 1:16-17)
3. “Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth” (John 9:1)
“And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” (Luke 19:5)
It is apparent that Jesus was always on the look out for those who would follow Him as He travelled from one place to another. So, the Bible specifically records that “as He walked or passed by He saw” those who would follow Him and He called out to them to follow Him. It matters not that they were uneducated and untrained fishermen (Acts 4:13) or rich tax collectors as Zacchaeus was (Luke 19:2). He was looking for those who were prepared to leave everything behind (including their successful secular vocation/careers/employments) to follow Him: they were willing to repent or change their lives just as Zacchaeus expressed in Luke 19:8: “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
He did not stop seeking the lost even when faced with opposition by the religious leaders of His days such as the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees. He did not stop seeking the lost although He failed to win over the rich ruler as recorded in Mark 10:21-22 “who was sad at (the word of Christ), and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” Even as He hung on the cross, He did not give up seeking to save the lost when He said: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
In the book of Acts, Jesus working with His disciples continued to seek to save the lost. In Acts 2, three thousands were saved and the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:47). In Acts 8, many Samaritans were saved and the Ethiopian Treasurer was found by Philip while journeying through the desert region of Gaza. In Acts 9, Paul was found along the road to Damascus while he was on a mission to persecute Christians. In Acts 10, the God-fearing Roman centurion by the name of Cornelius was found by the apostle Peter. In Acts 16, a jailor in Philippi who was charged with the task of keeping Paul and Silas in prison was found by them instead. In Acts 18, Apollos a preacher who knew only the baptism of John, was found by Priscilla and Aquila. They did not give up seeking the lost even though they were not always successful as in the case of King Agrippa in Acts 26:27-29: “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.” 28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” 29 And Paul said, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am.” They just kept on preaching the word.
We must keep on preaching everywhere as we actively look out for those who would want to follow Jesus so that they may be saved through faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His plan of salvation as stated in Mark 16:15-16: “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Let us not be discouraged by those who do not wish to follow Him. Our duty is to sow the seed of the Word of God (Luke 8:11) and persuade them to follow Jesus (2 Cor 5:11) and that “God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”(2 Tim 2:25-26).
Let us keep on sowing the seed of the Word of God at every opportunity as we journey through life, in season and out of season (2 Tim 4:2) and God will give the increase. Are you busy sowing the seed of the kingdom, brother? If you are not, when do you plan to begin?