August 4, 2008
Bearing Each Other’s Burdens
Jesus commissioned believers to continue His work on earth—sharing the good news about God the Father’s saving grace (Matt. 28:19). Following this command isn’t easy when we come across people whose lifestyle is distasteful to us. It often feels more convenient to befriend someone who shares our values. Yet a lost man or woman may be led to restoration through a Christian friend or acquaintance.
Jesus got involved with men and women whom society avoided. He ate dinner with tax collectors (Matt. 9:10; Luke 19:5) and gently spoke His message of hope to an adulterous woman (John 4:7-27). And to anyone—disciple or Pharisee—shocked by His associations, the Lord explained that He “did not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17).
In Proverbs 29:6, sin is compared to a trap that ensnares its victim. With despair and confusion as constant companions, the captive doesn’t know the way to freedom. But believers do. And we are to share the message as Jesus did: “You who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness” (Gal. 6:1). The Greek word for “restore” refers to the setting of bones—a very painful process. So we are to tenderly point men and women in the direction of God’s forgiveness, His mercy toward wrongdoers, and the Holy Spirit’s help in overcoming temptation.
If Jesus were on earth today, He’d be ministering to the needy, the addicted, and the downtrodden. To be like Him, let’s encourage others to confront their sin so they can be freed from its grasp.
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