During Zaccheus’ encounter with Jesus, the Lord said that He had “come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Have you ever considered this idea of people being lost? Exactly what did Jesus mean that they were lost? Lost where? Lost how?
When we think of someone being lost, we usually have a scenario of people hiking in the wilderness or some national park, and they get off the trail, lose their bearings and are unable to find their way back. So rescuers are called in to find them. Or sometimes we might think of a toddler who wandered off from home and got lost in the woods behind the house or out in the neighborhood. Occasionally we still hear of a ship being “lost at sea.”
We know that Jesus is speaking of a person’s spiritual condition, so in what sense are people lost? Saved? It seems there are several different ways to answer our question. Usually we hear that people are lost “in sin.” This could mean that their lives are mired in sin (like in quicksand), and they are sinking to their deaths. It could mean that they are lost in sin’s darkness, unable to see their way out into the light. We might see lost folks as just wandering through life, following the ways of the world with only fleshly and materialistic goals in mind. These all have their valid points.
However, let’s look at this from a different perspective. From what are they lost? I think the point is that they are lost from God! God is our Father, and we are the prodigals who have left home. Jesus is our Shepherd, and we are the sheep who have failed to listen to His voice and have gone off seeking greener pastures. We are Adam who chose to heed the words of the Serpent and were forced to leave Paradise to wander pathways leading us away from God.
But praise God! The Father has not abandoned us and has sent His Son to rescue us. The Shepherd has come in search of His sheep. The pathway back to God has been illuminated. The Way is clear. Praise Him!! Do you know anybody who is lost?