Summary: Sermon 4 of 7: Why did Jesus come?
“I Am Come To Seek And To Save…”
Woodlawn Baptist Church
July 17, 2005
D.L. Moody is quoted as having said,
“The thief had nails through both hands, so that he could not work; and a nail through each foot, so that he could not run errands for the Lord; he could not lift a hand or a foot toward his salvation, and yet Christ offered him the gift of God; and he took it. Christ threw him a passport, and took him into Paradise.”
In Luke 19:10, Jesus said,
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Today I want to speak to you again on the subject of the purpose of Christ’s coming. This is the fourth in a series of seven messages that will attempt to answer the question, Why did Jesus come to earth? He answered that question for both His critics and His followers in a variety of ways, but each is only a different angle from which to view His perfect work of redemption.
Jesus said that He came to fulfill the law. He said that He came to call sinners to repentance. He told His disciples that He came to send a sword among them, and today we read that He is come to seek and to save that which was lost. On the surface we really believe we understand what Jesus is saying, but our western religious culture causes us to lose something in the message. I believe that if we were really getting this, myself included, our lives would be radically altered, and I hope to demonstrate this to you by presenting you with three proofs from this one verse because Jesus wants to see a radical transformation take place in your lives. I’m talking to those of you who are saved and have been saved. But listen, if you have never trusted Christ as your Savior, God has a message for you as well.
Jesus Identified Himself with Nobodies
The Scriptures say in Luke 18 that Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem. Verse 35 tells us that on His way be came near Jericho, where a blind man was sitting on the side of the road begging for money. There were in fact two blind men sitting there according to Matthew and Mark, but Luke identifies this one for us. As Jesus passed by, the crowds were causing such a ruckus that the blind man had to know what was going on. When he found out that Jesus was near he began to holler and shout at Jesus. “Jesus! Son of David! Have mercy on me!”
Verse 39 says that those who went before Jesus told the man to shut up. Those who went before Jesus weren’t His critics, they were His fans. They were men and women who were walking with Him, and this blind beggar of a man was bothering the crowds. Jesus didn’t see it that way though. He took the time to stop and heal the man.
In chapter 19, we learn about Zacchaeus.
“And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he south to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.”
Over and over this same complaint was made against Jesus. He eats with sinners. I do not think we can fully appreciate the scandal Jesus caused each time he chose to sit at the table with sinners. Imagine what might have taken place had a wealthy plantation owner in Georgia decided to throw a banquet, then invite negro cotton pickers to his banquet. Imagine that he had them come early so they could enjoy cocktails and conversation before the meal. That man would have felt the fury of the southern aristocracy and would have virtually ruined his reputation.
“In first-century Palestinian Judaism the class system was enforced rigorously. It was legally forbidden to mingle with sinners who were outside the law: table fellowship with beggars, tax collectors (traitors to the national cause because they were collecting taxes for Rome from their own people to get a kickback from the take) and prostitutes was a religious, social and cultural taboo.