Jesus came to seek and save the lost. You. Me. Personally.
In Joshua, Israel is about to destroy the city of Jericho. But before they do, Joshua sends 2 spies into the city and out of all the thousands of people in the city God directs them to one woman, Rahab, a prostitute, whom he had given saving faith in the living God.
Jesus sought out individuals. He made a special trip through Samaria to meet one woman at a well, a woman living in immorality with a man not her husband.
Many years later when Jesus passed through Jericho, the city of Rahab, he said to Zacchaeus, a despised chief tax collector who had climbed a tree to catch a glimpse of him:
“Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today,” then a few verses later said: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (LK 19:5,10).
Jesus sought me out. When I was in college I was sitting in the Student Union with a friend and a young hippie-looking guy came up and gave us each a tract about Jesus. I remember looking up at his face and he had this big smile on his face. Later, I was living in Philadelphia and dating a young lady who was an airline stewardess. One day she called and said she’d met this guy on the plane wearing a t-shirt with a picture of Jesus on it. She said, “Don’t you think you’re being disrespectful wearing a t-shirt with a picture of Jesus on it?” She said, “He started telling me all about Jesus.” At the time I wasn’t much interested, but later I had moved back home to my parents house, broke, discouraged, a failure. And one weekend my girlfriend was visiting me and opened the newspaper and said, “Look! Here’s a picture of the guy I met on the plane. He’s speaking in a retreat center nearby! Let’s go see him.” So I did and afterward she took me up to meet him and he said, “Mark have you ever asked Jesus into your heart?” I prayed that night. We came back again that week and a young man and young lady were singing some songs before the meeting – it was the hippie guy who had given me the tract in the Student Union. They sang a song about God seeking the lost – in the song Jesus said to his Father, “I will seek that which was lost.” That really hit me. Later, thinking about that young hippie guy, and the tract, and my girlfriend meeting the guy wearing the Jesus t-shirt, and all the ways God had sought me out I wrote the song Forever Grateful which says, “I’m forever grateful…that you came to seek and save the lost.”