Seeking the Lost - part 2
In our efforts to seek the lost it might help us to consider some of the people Jesus taught. While Jesus sometimes had multitudes who listened to his public preaching, he also had some personal encounters with individuals. Some of these were unlikely followers, and we see a variety of responses. Consider some people that Jesus taught:
A Jewish ruler, named Nicodemus, came to Jesus in the night and was taught about the second birth. (John 3)
- A Samaritan woman who had come to draw water. She had a life wrecked my multiple marriages. Jesus taught her about living water and true worship. (John 4)
- A woman caught in the very act of adultery. She was brought to Jesus by a hypocritical mob of accusers. Jesus taught that day about hypocrisy. He had compassion on the woman and instructed her to sin no more. (John 8)
- A rich young man came to Jesus asking about eternal life. Jesus instructed him about living a life of true devotion and care for others. (Matthew 19)
- A short man who was a rich tax collector named Zacchaeus. Jesus called him down from a tree and went to his house and taught him about salvation. (Luke 19)
There are others, but this serves as a representation of the variety of people Jesus taught. We see the religious and the openly sinful, the confident and unsure, the proud and the humble seekers. Jesus taught all who would listen. Sometimes we decide who will listen and who will not. We must not try to judge who deserves an opportunity to hear the message of salvation.
The gospel is so powerful, we must not limit its potential effect on any person. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Romans 1:16) We must reach out with God’s word to all who are willing to listen.
When some, who we believe to be unlikely converts, respond to the gospel call, they must be further taught. They may be taught about the new birth, but need further instruction on growing in Christ. They may be taught about true worship, but need to learn how to behave themselves in the house of God. They may have ongoing struggles, and need to be taught about repentance and prayer. Patience will be key, but in time, with sound teaching, they will mature. They may even be able to lead others to Christ. They may be able to share the gospel message for others to obey. They gospel keeps being spread by those who have been taught. “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2)
Who is it that you can reach out to with the word of God?