Jesus Came to Seek and Save the Lost

Today’s reading comes from Luke 19:10. But before we get to that verse, let’s see the context in which Jesus spoke of why He came into the world. Let’s read Luke 19:1-10 (ESV):

He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Jesus said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.” This is a recurring theme of the parables of the lost as well as a recurring theme of Jesus’ ministry. John 3:17 (NIV) says, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”

Richard Baxter wrote, “How could Jesus manifest more willingness to save or tender compassion to the souls of men than He has manifested? How tenderly did Christ deal with all sorts of sinners! He professed that He came into the world not to condemn, but to save. He wept over unbelieving people who rejected Him. Yea, He prayed for his crucifiers and cared for the others suffering crucifixion. To those that followed Him, His tenderness was unspeakable. Alas! That the Lord Jesus should come from heaven to earth, from glory to human flesh, and pass through a life of misery to a cross, and from the cross to the grave, to manifest openly to the world the abundance of His love, and the tenderness of His heart to sinners. This was the gracious and lovely nature of God. In Christ, God has come down into our nature, so that infinite goodness and mercy became incarnate. Christ has undertaken the task to seek and to save that which was lost!”[1]

Jesus came into the world to save mankind from his or her sinful nature, to turn them to God, so that there would be forgiveness and the covenant between God and His people would be restored. Jesus also came into the world to redeem the lost throughout the world. We cannot save ourselves, but only through Christ Jesus can one be saved and redeemed.

How can one be saved?

Paul said in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Acts 16:30-31, “Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

No one else can save you or redeem you from your sin. Paul wrote in Acts 4:12, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men[a] by which we must be saved.”

John 5:24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”

Matthew 6:9-13, ““Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
 Give us this day [our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from [evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”

Matthew 9:6-8, “But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—then He *said to the paralytic, ‘Get up, pick up your bed and go home.’  And he got up and [a]went home. But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.”

Romans 10:8-10, “But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”

Matthew 19:25-26, “When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, ‘Who then can be saved?’ But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”

We know that we cannot save ourselves. We are dead in our sin and in our transgressions. We can seek God but we have no authority or power to save ourselves. Salvation and redemption only comes through Jesus Christ is He said that “He came to seek and save the lost.” He is seeking you today. If you do not know Him as your personal Savior, you can know Him today. Just pray this simple prayer:

“Dear Jesus, I am a sinner lost without hope. I am sorry for my wrongs that I have committed in life. I am sorry for my sins and wrongs I have committed against others as well as I have committed against you. I ask that you save me from my sins, come into my life, and make me new. I believe that you are the Son of God, that you died to save me from my sins, and that you rose again. Lord Jesus, I ask that you live in my heart from this moment forward. I want to live for you and serve you all the days of my life. In Jesus Name, Amen.”

If you prayed this prayer, and meant it, Jesus has saved you. He will send His Holy Spirit to lead and guide you in your new walk with Christ. Now you must start your faith walk with Him by reading the Bible. I would suggest an English Standard Version with a good commentary. The commentary will help you understand the Scriptures as you read through the Bible. You should also get involved in a Bible believing Church. If you would like for us to help you find a good church in your area of the United States, please email us at


Photo Credit: Josh Sorenson, Pexels.

[1] Richard Baxter, Practical Works, (2 vols. Ligonier: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990) II:891-892.

Copyright © January 23, 2020. Marketplace Evangelism Today, a publication of Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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