For those who question whether evangelism is at the heart of God, look no further than Luke 15. Seeing Jesus with sinners made the religious leaders question Jesus’ intentions. They themselves would never be seen with such riff-raff.
Jesus didn’t see despicable people unworthy of salvation, but lost people in need of it.
In three parables Jesus makes it clear that finding the Lord is a priority. The lost sheep, coin, and son help us to see just how important evangelism is. We are called to leave the found to find the lost… to search for the lost, and then to rejoice when the lost are found.
In the final parable, the son who abandoned his family and considered them dead finally comes home. Realizing that things were better than he thought they were (the grass isn’t always greener), he comes home hoping to be treated as a servant. He recognizes that he doesn’t deserve to be called as son because he disowned his father when he asks for his inheritance while he was alive (something you didn’t do).
He also realizes that his sin is first and foremost against God, and then against his father. A sinner with nothing to offer his father other than a repentant heart and a willingness to work. And the father rejoices because his son is home.
We are that son, and God, being the loving Father that He is, rejoices that we have come back, even though we are not worthy of His love, and have nothing to offer other than our service.
Lord, help us to remember our place and who we were without You. May we never think too highly of ourselves, but be willing to do whatever You ask and serve you as long as we live.