When we saw no one outside, we knocked on doors. At one house, a young man opened the door and came outside to talk. I asked, “How can we pray for you?” He asked us to pray for his children. I briefly shared my testimony how a group of college students showed me unconditional love and how I trusted Christ’s death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sin. I then asked, “Do you believe there’s brokenness in the world? He said, “Of course, there’s brokenness everywhere?” (No one denies there’s brokenness in the world).
“It hasn’t always been that way.” I said. “In God’s perfect design, he created the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, and placed them in garden in relationship with God. He gave them one command and they broke it. Sin entered into the human race.” I drew an arrow between the “God’s Design” and “Brokenness” circles.I continued, “Man tries to deal with their brokenness with good works, religion, working up the corporate ladder, sex, drugs, etc., but many times, it makes brokenness worse.” I drew squiggly lines pointing upward and out of the brokenness circle.
I said. “God saw our problem and sent Jesus down to earth.” I drew a downward arrow in the Jesus circle. “Jesus died for our sins to receive forgiveness and then rose again from the dead.” I drew a cross to the right of the downward arrow and an upward arrow. “Someday, Christ will come back to rule and reign on earth.” I drew a crown above the downward arrow, cross, and upward arrow.
“I turned from my sin and trusted Christ’s work, became a new creation in Christ. God put me on the pathway to recover God’s design as I followed Him even though I mess up many times.” I asked the young man, “Do you have a Jesus story like that?” He answered, “I wish I did but not sure. I’m very confused about what’s right!”
I asked, “Would you like John to meet and dialogue with you about Christ.” He said, “I would love that!” John has called several times without making contact, which is typical. Last Sat. morning, we knocked on his door and he welcomed us with open arms. Because family was visiting, he asked us to come back. Please pray as we go back to his house.
Jesus ran into an upper-middle class person, Zacchaeus, who was a rich chief tax-gatherer. He climbed into a sycamore tree to see Jesus in a crowd. Jesus looked up and told Zacchaeus to come down because He must stay in his house. Zacchaeus said he would give half of his possessions to the poor and give back four times as much to those he defrauded. Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:1–10).
Why should we seek the lost?
Jesus told a parable about a nobleman who gave ten minas (each equivalent to about three months’ wages) to his ten servants so they could do business until he returned. After the nobleman returned, he called his servants to learn what business they had done. The first said his ten minas made ten minas more. The nobleman (master) commended the servant for his faithfulness and gave him authority over ten cities. The second servant made five minas and was given authority over five cities. The third hid his mina in a handkerchief and buried it in the ground because he was afraid. The master said to take away the mina and give it to the one with ten minas and collect from a bank (Luke 19:11–27). When we steward God’s resources (money, time, spiritual gifts, and bodies), we receive greater authority and responsibility.
What does this greater authority and responsibility look like?
Jesus told two disciples to bring an unused colt and to simply say, “The Lord needs it,” if asked for an explanation. With Jesus on the colt, a multitude of disciples praised God saying, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” When the Pharisees said He should rebuke His disciples, Jesus responded, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:28–40). When we listen to God, Christ will enter your neighborhood.
How do we make sure Christ will enter our neighborhood?
Why did Jesus weep over Jerusalem? Because he loved its people who rejected the peace He offered. Their disbelief hid him from their eyes. Jesus predicted that in the future, enemies would destroy their families because they didn’t recognize His coming (Luke 19:41–44). Jesus entered the temple and cast out the people who were selling, saying His house should be a house of prayer, but they had made it a robbers’ den. Jesus taught daily in the temple, but religious and influential men tried to destroy Him. In contrast, all the people were hanging upon His words. (Luke 19:45–48).
Does peoples’ lostness break your heart like Jesus? Will you pray for people in your neighborhood to understand Jesus’ presence and peace?
Later the Master selected seventy and sent them ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he intended to go. He gave them this charge: “What a huge harvest! And how few the harvest hands. So on your knees; ask the God of the Harvest to send harvest hands (Luke 10:1-2—The Message)