Sunday, 5 January 2014

The Seeking Saviour

It is a well-known fact that Jesus taught in parables. The reason for this is fairly obvious – most people think in images rather than in words; indeed it is very difficult for us to relate to others without using word pictures. Thomas Guthrie commented that each person is ‘possessed of reason, of affection, and of imagination’ and suggested that a sermon involves ‘proving, painting and persuading’. Jesus used earthly situations to illustrate heavenly or spiritual truths. Because of this, the common people heard him gladly.

A well-known parable is that of the lost sheep told by Jesus in Luke 15:1-7. In this parable, we have Jesus portrayed as the seeking Saviour searching for a lost sinner. The illustration of a lost sheep is an accurate picture of a Christless life. The lost sheep has wandered away into a place of danger, where wild animals may destroy it. This is a picture of each of us, for all of us have sinned and wandered away from God. The wandering may have been unclear to begin with, but gradually we have gone further and further away. This desire to wander is both voluntary and intense, we don’t want to resist it and we cannot resist it. And we face the danger of being lost forever in endless punishment for our sins.

Looking round, we may ask, Is there anyone to help? The answer is, Yes, the Son of God cares. He knew all about the problems and the dangers and still he came to the rescue. He became a man so that he could go to Calvary where he would bear the punishment for sin.

Having paid the penalty for sins, Jesus has been raised from the dead and has sent his messengers into the world to tell sinners about what he has done and to invite each of them to come to him for salvation. Through them, be they ministers of laypeople, he seeks the lost sheep. Further, Jesus has also sent the Holy Spirit to join in this search and to work in the hearts and minds of sinners, reminding them of what Jesus has done, and repeating to them that they are welcome to trust in Jesus Christ.

The question for us is, ‘Has he found us?’ If he has not, it means we are resisting his invitations. If he has, we are starting a journey together with him that will last forever.

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