“For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”
Jesus said to James and John, two of His most energetic disciples, these words, “the Son of Man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” These zealous young men were unaware at this zealous moment of the true purpose and mission of the Lord. They needed to be reminded, as we often do, of why He came to earth as a man. He came not to destroy, but to save, and that is to be our mission also, to seek and save; to seek for the purpose of saving.
We must not get caught up in the emotion of the moment, when we witness the rejection of the Savior by a thankless people. This is our first response and it will bring righteous anger into our hearts against such ungrateful people. “Why, the Lord can destroy them with a word,” we think. We have forgotten that we have been where they are now, sinners rebelling against a holy God. We have removed ourselves, in our thinking, from that world. This is a good thing in a way, for in so doing, we count our members, the members of our bodies, as instruments of righteousness unto God. However, we must recall where we were when He delivered us. He lifted us out of ‘an horrible pit,’ the hog pen of sin. We must realize anew how God showed us mercy and graciously forgave and cleansed us from our sins. In doing so, we can relate to the unrepentant sinner’s position and show him mercy for we have been shown mercy.
Let us be reminded of His great desire to save for “He is not willing that any should perish, but all come to repentance.” God looks with tender compassion upon men, though they trample upon His love and reject His Son. He gives them time and space to repent, so we must not be hasty to condemn them.
A poet writes:
There is a wideness in God’s mercy, like the wideness of the sea,
There is a kindness in His justice, that is more than liberty,
For the love of God is broader than the measure of man’s mind,
And the Heart of the Eternal One is most wonderfully kind.
Under His Wings,
Pastor Ed Bowen