To seek and to save the Lost
Isaiah 61:1-2 “The spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;” Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” There are so many stories, but Jesus regularly went to a specific place, just to catch a fish, to rescue the perishing, to care for the dying, Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save. Take this case of Jesus, he walks down a certain street, strides right up to a Tax Collectors Booth, and then walks away with a disciple, for Matthew was now hooked on salvation. Matthew 8:28a “And when he was come to the other side [of the lake] into the country of the Gergesenes,” Jesus sailed across the lake, right there at the beach was the cemetery, and you guessed it, more to seek and to save, the demoniacs won, pigs lost, a very good scoreboard. Luke 7:11a “And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain;” Jesus travels across country, and right at the city gate is a funeral procession, well not for very much longer, dead is raised, restored to mother, funeral forgotten, Luke 15:24a “For this my son was dead, and is alive again;” Jesus was always catching and releasing those saved and now redeemed, take the Samaritan woman at the well, or you can be up a tree like Zacchaeus, rotting in a tomb like Lazarus, be dejected mates on the lonely road to Emmaus, Jesus is right there. Romans 8:37-39 “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
What about the time Jesus crossed the lake, parked the boat on the beach, walked across the road and walked right into the front door of a brothel, remember that one? Matthew 5:39 “And he sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala.” Just a short wee verse, which almost says nothing, but let us unpack and unwrap this big one. Now Magadan, or Magdala is the Las Vegas of the time, that ‘Red Light District,’ you know the sort of degradation there, but who ran a very profitable business there, well that was until a bloke and his 12 followers entered in and the leader asked to see the proprietress by name, Mary comes down the stairs, sees a crowd, this will be great business, Hello Mary, then she is looking right up into the face of the last person she ever wanted to see standing in her reception room, Jesus. I will host anybody, but not him, embarrassed, flustered, small talk was awkward, oh how is my big brother and sister in Bethany, by the way Lazarus and Martha asked me to drop by when passing, great to see you, see ya latter, not so fast, here is another soul to save, a sort of, ‘you are coming Home with us,’ redemption, forgiveness, and so soon, restoration back into a family, back as the formidable trio of ‘Mary, Martha and Lazarus.’
I envisage it happened this way, Mary Magdalene, scurries back upstairs to her apartment, bags packed, big burly guys pick up the bundles, and in moments, Mary is gone, gone from Magdala, gone from town, gone from her past business life, and off they go, up the road to Bethany. Jesus knocks on the door, and Martha puts down the sheet she is about to peg onto the line, opens the door, Jesus, Fellas, we were not expecting you, come right on in, but nobody moves, then a slight sideways shuffle, and there in the midst is a terrified and fearful little sister, Mary, you are home at last, squeals and hugs, lots of joyful noise, and this brings Lazarus running out to the front door, his firewood splitting halted, people everywhere, and then he sees his lost little sister, she has come safely back home, Luke 15:24a “For this my
son [Sister] was dead, and is alive again;” What a reunion, what a joyful time, Luke 15:22-24 Adapted “But then father Lazarus said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put [it] on him Her; and put a ring on his Her hand, and shoes on [ his] Her feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill [it]; and let us eat, and be merry: for this my son Sister was dead, and is alive again; he She was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.” Score card, one more for God and one less for Satan, and that is a victory, and that means celebration time.
I can see Matthew joyfully turning and quietly closing the door behind the group, heart bursting with pride, he feels very close to Mary, for he being a Tax Collector was deemed just as sinful as what Mary had been doing, he recalls his response to Jesus’ call, he responded, Mary responded, restored, redeemed, a new life has begun. Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” It is party time and celebration for the rescued ones, those fished from the depths of sin, degradation and destruction, now saved to life, better now, but more amazing in Eternity. Jesus posed this question to the Temple chief priests and elders over a parable, Matthew 21:31 “Whether of them twain did the will of [his] father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.”Jesus came to Planet Earth, that den of sin, vice, impurity and death, to seek and to save the lost, everywhere he went he was searching, hunting, watching looking, he even sailed right across the lake, beached the boat right up at the door of a Bordello, then marched right on through the front door and stood inside, and called a sinner to repentance, reuniting a fractured family, and then restored her back into her family, and Jesus does this sort of seeking every day, those whom the ‘Righteous Saints’ see as far from the Kingdom, may actually be the first to be granted entry, and then those who are full of themselves, will find themselves locked out because they are not full of God. Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost,” so what are you actively doing about this???