Do you remember the words of the song you may have learned years ago entitled, “The Apostle Song”? It is the best way to remember the names of the twelve, but have you ever noticed the opening words? “Jesus called them one by one, Peter, Andrew, James and John…”.
He called them, but the emphasis is that He called them one by one. Those four fishermen in the first chapter of Mark, who left their nets to follow Him, obviously had prior knowledge of Him. He called them, but He called most of them one by one.
We think of Jesus teaching large multitudes and are right in doing this, but have you thought His work involved one-on-one conversations with individuals? Look at this list.
He had individual, personal conversations with the Samaritan woman; the woman taken in the act of adultery; Mary outside of her house after Lazarus died; Martha outside of her house after Lazarus died; Matthew as he collected taxes; the one thankful leper; the blind man beside the road in Jericho; Legion, the “wild man” of the Gadarenes; the thief on the cross; the child who was used to teach humility; Zacchaeus in the tree; and likely many others. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, but many times He sought them out individually.
How often have we failed to see that, while the Great Commission involves going into all the world, it is most often achieved by taking it to every creature? There is a different emphasis in “all the world” and “every creature.” The commission in our lives always involves personal, individual contact.
Look at that list again and see how often the contact with others was not planned contact. Jesus walked on this earth, and as He walked, He saw the people around Him. Do we see people around us? I am not asking whether we see their physical presence but am asking a far more important question. Do we see the souls of those around us? We see their bodies, but do we see their souls? Jesus did!
Have you ever had a song come to mind and it stayed with you all day? The lyrics just kept coming to mind. Let me urge you to consciously put this song or at least its lyrics in your mind. It is more than 80 years old.
Lead me to some soul today,
O teach me, Lord, just what to say.
Friends of mine are lost in sin
And cannot find their way.
Few there are who seem to care
And few there are who pray.
Melt my heart and fill my life,
Give me one soul today.
– Dan Jenkins