To Seek and Save the Lost
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:10.
The heaven-appointed Teacher appears, and He is no less a personage than the Son of the Infinite God. Unroll the scroll, and read of Him. Moses declared to the children of Israel: “The Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” Here is the prediction announcing the distinguished arrival. His words were not to be disregarded; for His authority was supreme, and His power invincible.
Unroll the scroll still further, and read what Isaiah says of His work: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
Again we read of Christ as the messenger of the covenant yet to come, and as the Sun of Righteousness yet to arise. The prophets made Him their earliest and their latest theme.
At His coming [the Jews] did not receive Him, because they had gathered a false idea as to the manner of His coming. This Jesus, a peasant and a carpenter, of obscure origin, the Son of God, the Messiah? It could not be.
But the peculiarity separating the Jews from other nations disappeared in Christ. He placed Himself where He could give instruction to all classes of people. Often He told them that He was related to the whole human family, Jew and Gentile. “I am not come to call the [self] righteous, but sinners to repentance,” He declared. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. For this He left the ninety and nine; for this He laid off His royal robes, and veiled His divinity with humanity. The whole world is Christ’s field of labor. A sphere narrower than this does not enter His thoughts.
Portions of this post came from the magazine “The Signs of the Times,” June 24, 1897.