Yesterday we discussed three parables related to the lost sheep, the lost coin and the prodigal son. These parables illustrated heaven’s mandate to win the lost to Jesus Christ and our role in leading people to God. Today I want to look at two examples of times when Jesus went to great lengths to minister to a lost person. In Luke 4, Jesus told his disciples that he needed to go through the city of Samaria. He was on the way to Galilee, but went through Samaria in order to minister to a woman at the well. The Jews did not have much dealings with the Samaritans over long standing issues. The woman who Jesus travelled to minister to was an adulteress.
“for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly” (John 4:18). This woman was someone who I believe, that most Christians would avoid, based on her lifestyle. Nevertheless, Jesus considered her important enough to travel to her city to minister to her. The result was her salvation, deliverance and ministry. She became an evangelist and went throughout her city, telling everyone about Jesus Christ.
The second story was of a man who lived in the tombs, in the city of Gadarenes and was demon possessed. Jesus had to travel with his disciples by boat and the boat almost capsized due to a storm. “Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him” (Luke 8:30). Jesus commanded the evil spirits to come out of the man and the man was restored to his right mind. The man begged Jesus to allow him to follow him and his disciples. ““Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him” (Luke 8:39).
In the first story, Jesus took the time to travel to minister to a woman who was a adulteress. The second story outlined Jesus’s journey to heal a demon possessed man. This is someone who people had given up on, who spent the time in the tombs cutting himself daily. The freedom and salvation that this man must have felt was immeasurable. Both of these people found freedom and redemption and went on to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. Who would have imagined that they would become ministers of the gospel? God is not like us and he examines the heart, while we look at the outward appearance.
God went to great lengths to rescue us from destruction and to offer us redemption. We have a duty to minister the salvation of Jesus Christ to the lost and hurting. We don’t get to be the judge and jury concerning who is worthy of salvation. Even the vilest of sinners is worthy of salvation and redemption. Our job is to witness to sinners and allow God to do the job of transforming. For every person who comes in our sphere of influence, we have to be a witness for Jesus Christ. “Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live” (Ezekiel 18:23)?