What Jesus Does for the Sinner Luke 19:10
The mission of Jesus into this world in human form was primarily in the interest of lost men. He didn’t come for personal gain nor did he come so we could have another national holiday. He didn’t come to get honor to Himself, nor to prove that He could do it, nor for any other purpose, other than to seek and save those who are lost.
It seems appropriate then that we look into just what He does for lost men. Since He subjected Himself to the limitations of the flesh and suffered pain and embarrassment, shame, ridicule, and agony, for the lost man’s sake, then surely it must have been something really wonderful that He came to do for the sinner. No-one, even God, would go to the trouble and suffer so much, unless it was for something so vitally necessary that the only way it could be accomplished would be through this suffering. TEXT Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Jesus does three things for the sinner though His life, death, and resurrection. These three things explain His mission and makes all His sacrifice as clear as day and as precious as all the riches of the Triune God. I. Jesus Loves the Sinner in Spite of Sin. God’s Word tells us that He is love. Then Christ made the startling claim in John 10:30 that “I and my Father are one.” When we read over and over in His Word that God loves the sinner, we have to agree and say that Jesus loves the sinner also, since He is God Himself. So wherever we find in the Word the love the Father has for sinning humanity, we can say, “Yes, that expresses the love of Jesus, the Son, for lost men too, because He and the Father are one.” As a matter of fact, Jesus is the very best example of love. Men might doubt the love of the Father for lost men if He had remained in His heavenly kingdom and only sent down messages through men to the effect that He loved them but never did anything for them. But the Father hushed the mouths of the doubters when He sent His Son, His only begotten, dearly beloved Son, heaven’s most precious jewel, onto the earth in human form, allowed Him to be subjected to torture, ridicule, opposition, pain, suffering, and even a criminal’s death, to prove that He does love lost men. If those who deny that God loves lost men, will take one good look at Jesus, the Father’s Son, they will be forced to admit that God does love lost men, because Jesus provided it in His work. With all of our imperfections, many times we fail to love people for no real reason at all. Maybe Because we don’t like the language they use, or the way they dress, or the look they have on their faces or their attitude towards us, we dislike them very strongly. All this in spite of the fact that our Savior has commanded us to love our enemies and those who despitefully use us. But picture Jesus if you will, wronged terribly by those who broke His law, slighted, mocked, ridiculed, shunned, opposed, and finally murdered. Yet hear Him as He says to the disciples, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you” (John 15:9), and as He prays on the cross for His enemies, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). There’re numerous examples in the Gospels of Christ’s love for sinners. We’ll look at only two of them. You recall the incident in Mark 10 of the rich young ruler who came to Jesus, seeking spiritual light. He said that he had kept the commandments, but was unwilling to obey Christ when He commanded him to sell his possessions, give the proceeds to the poor, and follow Him. He was unwilling to surrender himself in obedience to the Master. He went away sorrowful, and unsaved. The statement in the scriptures of that incident is found in verse 21a: “Then Jesus beholding him, loved him.” Jesus loves the sinner man my friend. The other incident is found in the 5th chapter of Mark. Jesus and the disciples crossed the Sea of Galilee, landing in the country of the Gadarenes. They had hardly set foot on land when old Legion ran to meet them. Old Legion was a crazy man. He was possessed of many demons. He tortured himself, terrified the neighborhood, and lived alone in the cemetery. Many times his own countrymen had bound him with ropes or chains, thinking that if they could keep him in solitary confinement then hopefully it would lift the dreaded evil off him. They’d been unable to do it, because he was so strong. Now he runs to meet Jesus, the great Nazarene teacher. The people must have thought this was going to be the end of the Great Radical teacher from across the lake. Imagine their amazement when instead of running away as others did, Jesus walked straight toward the man, as if unaware of his condition. The disciples must have tried to turn him aside and make Him get back to the boat, but it was no use. The Master was determined to meet the man. Imagine their utter amazement when the man didn’t harm Jesus. They must have thought they were dreaming when they heard this terrible demon-possessed man pleading with Him. They heard his voice tones as he pleaded with Jesus to let him alone. The demons in the man had so possessed him that he didn’t want Jesus, the supreme demon enemy, around him. Determined to cast the demons out, Jesus allowed them to enter a herd of swine that immediately plunged to their death in the sea. It’s significant that two thousand swine died when the man who had demons in himself had lived with them for years. Let’s follow the story on to the end. Jesus remained a short time there, cutting his visit short because the people who had lost the hogs didn’t want Him around them. When He started to leave, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with Him. Legion was clothed, in his right mind, and turned missionary. Jesus told him to tell his own people what He had done for him. Imagine the stir that created in that land. What a missionary that man must have made. And why? Simply and only because Jesus loved the man. The man was a lost sinner, and Jesus loved that lost sinner. Jesus loves sinners in spite of their sinfulness. He hates sin with all the force of a holy and righteous God, who knows no sin, but He loves the sinner in spite of his imperfections and transgressions. Jesus loves you, each of you today—even if you are far from God and in the deepest of sin—Jesus loves you with the undying, perfect love of a great God. He loves you too much to leave you there too. So 2ndly; II. Jesus Lifts the Sinner out of Sin. In John 12:32, Jesus made this claim, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” If Christ draws men to Him when He is lifted up, then they too must be lifted up in order to be drawn to Him. Psalm 40:2 expresses this lifting power of Christ: “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” He does that by His atoning sacrifice. He does it in response to a man’s faith, what that man couldn’t do after a lifetime of much striving and toil. Yes, Jesus does not save the man in his sin but lifts him out of his sin. He saves a man from sin and not in sin. Now what does this mean? It means 3 things. First, it means that sin is powerful, or else man would not need a divine force to lift him out of it. If sin, as some men say, was not very bad, then man could shake it off himself, get out of it with hardly any effort, with his own power, without any other help. But if what Jesus said is true, and if it takes Jesus to lift a man out of sin, then sin must be powerful. It takes the perfect Son of God to lift men out of sin. Then second, it means that man must be willing to be lifted, as God doesn’t force His salvation on anyone. The idea that God will save a man in His good time, in His season, regardless of that man’s own desires and will, is a false doctrine. I’ve heard of people who have died without Christ, simply because they were waiting for God to knock them down and reveal to them His salvation, and that time didn’t come. All the way through the Word of God, His invitation is to “whosoever will,” and His promises are to those who will accept them by faith. It’s true, very true, that salvation must come from God and that man cannot produce one iota of it, but it is likewise true that God will not place that salvation in the heart of a single individual without first that individual opening his heart and by faith allowing God to save him. Then in the third place, it means that Christ is more powerful than sin, otherwise the sinner couldn’t be lifted out of sin by Him. Unless Jesus had more power than Satan and sin, He couldn’t save one single soul from sin unless Satan voluntarily gave in to him. Christ is all-powerful. He hasn’t been shackled or bound by sin, and therefore is over and above it, not in it. So, through His marvelous power, sinners can be lifted out of sin. This is one of God’s most precious truths: that men bogged down in sin can be lifted out of sin by the crucified Savior. Truly, He did do some wonderful things for lost men through His matchless sacrifice! He lifts the sinner out of sin. So what else does Jesus do for the sinner? Well 3rdly; III. Jesus Leads the Sinner Away from Sin. He doesn’t leave the newborn soul on the cliff to slide back into the mire of sin. He takes him as someone takes a toddler child and teaches him to walk in his new world. He, JESUS, leads him step-by-step away from sin toward God. Jesus guides him in such a way that he can overcome temptation. Concerning this we read in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that “there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” Jesus leads him in paths of service. For every child of God in the world, there is some place of service and usefulness, a place that will not be covered unless that child finds and fills it. Many Churches have been planted for that purpose. It’s our God-given task to take these newborn babes in Christ and lead them into paths of service, for in doing so we’ll be filling our places, pleasing the Savior, and helping to support the kingdom of God long after we have passed on. Jesus directs his steps in the way of obedience and sacrifice. John says in I John 2:6, “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” As Christ obeyed the Father and sacrificed Himself for the benefit of others, so then we are also to obey Him and sacrifice for others and for Him. The newborn babe in Christ is to walk in the way of obedience and sacrifice; Christ would lead him in that way, and He would have us to allow ourselves to be used as instruments in His hands to accomplish that purpose. And then, one day, when death claims His child, Jesus will not relinquish His hold but will as it says in John 14, Come to receive that believer to himself.” Jesus will lead him right into the Father’s presence, away from all sin—perfect and eternally happy. Then He will have led His child, the sinner, so far away from sin that He has led him right into the presence of God, away from all sin and out of the presence of sin for all eternity. What a marvelous Savior! He begins with a love for a poor sinner and ends up with that sinner free from all sin forever, in the Father’s presence, having the approval of the Father, and clothed in the righteousness of Him who loved him and died for him. Now lets see some of the lessons from this today. IV. Lessons for You. There are four lessons to be learned: 1. Christ is intensely interested in you as an individual. Our heavenly Father is a good, good, Father, a Great God, a God of unlimited power, wisdom, and grace. Yet the most outstanding element of His greatness is the fact that He is vitally concerned about each one of His creatures. Next lesson: 2. He offers you the only avenue of escape from sin. There is absolutely no other way out, except the way of the cross. The path to glory is paved by the sacrifice of Calvary. Try if you will, philosophize if you please, theorize all you can, read the works of the masters, study with the diligence of a Luther, and yet with it all you must come back to this eternal truth, this life-giving truth: that Jesus offers you the only escape from sin. Next lesson: Lesson # 3. You must accept it while He offers it. God says, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man” (Gen. 6:3), and again, “Behold now is the accepted time, . . . now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). God is under absolutely no obligation to offer you salvation at all, let alone to leave His offer open indefinitely. It’s dangerous to delay. You have no assurance of any time to call your own. You can’t write down on a piece of paper how long God will let you live. And besides, you don’t know how many more, if any, opportunities you’ll have to give your heart to the Lord. Jesus, who loves you in spite of sin, who will lift you out of sin and lead you away from sin, He will be able to do it only if you accept salvation while He offers it. Lesson #4. What you do is a matter of individual choice. No one else can decide for you. If I could, I’d trust Christ for you, but that is a matter of absolute impossibility. You have your own account to give to God. You will not be responsible for what others do, but on the other hand, you will be responsible for your own actions. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God—unprepared! Don’t be unprepared for eternity. Get ready by receiving God’s gift of eternal life by trusting Jesus as your savior. WILL YOU TODAY?