How Should We See The Lost – Especially When They’re Ignorant?
Matthew 9:36 could have said, “When Jesus saw the crowds, he was sickened by their depravity and ignorance.” No doubt he was, but his first impulse, and the ethos of Scripture and God, was compassion. The text actually says, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
C. S. Lewis, when debating non-believers at Oxford University, said, “Before we could debate them we first had to correct their almost bottomless ignorance of the faith they supposed themselves to be rejecting.” Surely he didn’t make them feel like depraved idiots if he was trying to win them.
Human beings are frequently opposed to things they don’t understand. We should have no objection to a man who, once having properly understood Christianity, decides to reject it. How sad, though, for a man to reject what he has never properly understood.
One of the chief tasks in the concept, “Go and make disciples,” is to help men understand the gospel of Jesus. Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Matthew 9:37-38). This simple idea makes me want to ask every man I meet a simple question, “Where are you on your spiritual pilgrimage?”
If you don’t already have a conversation starter, why not give it a try. It’s a compassionate way to speak to ignorant sheep in need of a shepherd.
Together in the Battle for Men’s Souls,