June 30, 2010
(Jesus said) "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." Luke 19:10
The place is a bridge in Decatur, Tennessee.
Witnesses saw a man jump from that bridge into the Tennessee River. It was a frightening sight. They watched and they waited, hoping to see him come up. He never did.
The police were called and they summoned rescue crews, charging them to do what they could. Those crews searched. For three hours they searched the river. It was futile. The jumper was gone.
Actually, he wasn't gone, not at all.
The original witnesses hadn't seen it, but the man had come back to the surface, made it to shore and took himself a seat at the Hard Dock Café. From that vantage point, the man watched the rescue efforts which were being directed toward saving him. Then, when the man had seen enough, he swam across the river and went home.
Reports have come in that the rescue crews were pretty upset that they had wasted their concern and care in a wild goose chase.
Most of us can understand. We would probably be disappointed and displeased, too.
This makes me wonder how Jesus feels about folks who watch -- but never receive -- His forgiveness and salvation.
Scripture is clear, God's Son came into this world to seek and save the lost. Amazingly, many of those lost choose not to respond to the Savior's life of obedience and His sacrifice made at Calvary. Indeed, many of them laugh at His resurrection and His efforts to save their souls from sin, Satan, and death.
Surprisingly, as I read through Scripture, I find no indication that Jesus ever got angry with such folks. Maybe that's because, since He invested all of Himself into helping these people -- into saving these people -- when they turn their backs on Him, He mainly feels sadness and sorrow.
A Savior who is sad and sorrowful . . . now, that's a tragic picture, isn't it?
It's certainly one I don't like to think about. This is why I, and you, and all God's people need to do all we can for as many unsaved people as we can -- as often as we can. We need to tell them Jesus has given His life so they might have life.
He is still seeking them. Now is the time for salvation.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, send Your Holy Spirit upon those hearts that have up until now rejected and refused Your forgiveness and salvation. Open their eyes so they may see the depths of Your love and the sacrifice You have made. To that end, enlist me as Your willing witness. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries