Bringing the Lost to Repentance
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Luke 19:10 (NIV)
The context of this verse is when Zacchaeus climbed into a tree to see Jesus passing by. Jesus knew him and called him. Zacchaeus was a tax collector and therefore was hated by the Jews, because the tax collectors usually took too much tax, keeping the extra for themselves. Zacchaeus was rich and said, “’Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’” (Luke 19:8-10)
Luke 15:3-7 tells the parable of the lost sheep and says that there is more joy in heaven over finding a lost sheep (the repentance of one sinner) than the 99 that were not lost. I, too, was lost for many years, but God called me, even though I was undeserving.
The Bible is full of parables and metaphors with double meanings. The one about the 100 sheep (one was lost), is really about 99 good Christians and one other who repented and became a Christian.
To me, Luke 19:10 is the most important scripture in the Bible, because whereas John 3:16 applies to the whole world, Luke 19:10 is specific for me—God called me, and I answered the call.
Our Father, who sees the hearts of men, you know our thoughts. Grant that we, who are your servants, may be used to bring to repentance those who are lost.
Study by Phil Stilliard
Worldwide Church of God London
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square
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Phone: 020 8202 3998