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Sunday, December 17 2017 @ 05:53 AM CST

When A Love For Animals Is Greater Than A Love For Other People

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Radio transcript for the week of July 09, 2017

Ricky Berger speaks on "When a Love for Animals is Greater than a Love for People" on Seeking the Lost - International Radio.

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As Luke 15:1 begins, we see that all of the tax collectors and sinners are now drawing near to Jesus. Since this chapter begins with "Then" we know that this verse happens as a result of the things that had just taken place. What caused the sinners to come closer to Christ, wanting to hear His message? To better understand their motives, we need to start reading in Luke 14:1-3. We see here that Jesus is in the house of a ruler of the Pharisees on the sabbath day. Here, our Lord was willing to go to the people in order to minister to them. He was not concerned with social or economic boundaries; all souls were valuable to Him. Those around Jesus were looking for fault in His actions. These people were more interested in following the traditions of men than they were in following after righteousness. They had no concern for the hurting people that Christ would be able to help.

When a man with dropsy is present in verse 2, Jesus asked the question: "Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?". The Pharisees could not answer him. Their motives were wrong and they had no concern for the man who was suffering among them. Jesus knew their hearts before ever directly asking this question. By directing this question to the crowds, Jesus allowed them to condemn themselves. He does not rebuke in anger or with malice. We see an example here of the correct way to teach those around us. Christ allowed them to see their faults for themselves by drawing attention to their priorities.

After healing the man in verse 4, Christ asks a question to the crowd in the next verse. He asks, "Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?". In essence, he asks them if they would be willing to help an animal that was in trouble, even if it were the sabbath. The people could not answer Him because in doing so, they would condemn themselves. It would have been second-nature for them to save an animal that was in trouble, even if it meant doing so on the sabbath. Why then were they wanting to fault Jesus for healing a fellow human being on the sabbath? Clearly, they were not concerned with those around them who were hurting. They were only concerned with their own self interests.

This is why the tax collectors and sinners are drawing near in Luke 15:1. They had just seen Jesus put the needs of others above maintaining the traditions of men. The Pharisees still did not understand that souls are of the upmost importance. In verse 2, they begin complaining because the sinners were being received of Jesus. Luke 15:4-7 shows Jesus responding by using another parable involving animals. He asks them, "What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?".

All of those present would have known that if one sheep is missing, it is imperative that you go and search for it. The attitude that these Pharisees were having towards their fellow man was one of indifference. They did not care if those around them were hurting or in trouble. These people had lost a lack of compassion and empathy. Christ used the parables in Luke 14 and 15 to show the Pharisees the importance of one soul. They had a greater love for their animals than for the lost souls around them! Let us use this Biblical example to remember to keep the lost in the forefront of our minds and never forget the importance of one individual in the kingdom of God.

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Jesus asked in Luke 6:46, "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord' and do not do the things I say?" Hebrews 5:9 says Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey him.

Jesus said unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God - John 3:3.

We are born again though belief in and obedience to the gospel. He who believes the gospel and is baptized shall be saved - Mark 16:15-16. We obey the gospel by:

  1. Believing in Jesus’ Deity, his death for our sins and his resurrection (John 8:24; 1 Cor 15:1-4)
  2. Repenting of our sins (Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 17:30)
  3. Confessing Christ as the Lord (Romans 10:9-10)
  4. Being baptized, that is immersed, in water to receive remission of sins (Acts 2:38)
  5. Living faithful to the Lord until the end (Matthew 10:22; Revelation 2:10)

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