What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? …  Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”Matthew 18:12 and 14, New King James Version, emphasis mine
When Jesus walked the earth, He often preached the Gospel of the kingdom to crowds, and most of us probably know of present-day evangelists and disciples of Christ who do the same. But crowds are only important because they are made up of many “ones.” In the Father’s eyes, the value of each individual is beyond calculation.
You can see this truth on more than one occasion in the Scriptures. Jesus took time to go after the “one” as He was directed by the Father: the woman at the well, the Gadarene demoniac, the man at the pool of Bethesda.
Imagine the ripple effect created by His reaching out to one. What was the fruit of His obedience?
Most of us know what happened with the woman at the well. Because Jesus took the time to speak with her one-on-one and meet her need for living water, she spread the news about Him throughout her entire town. Many who heard her testimony believed on Jesus, and many more came to believe He was the Christ after hearing Him for themselves (John 4:39-42).
What about the Gadarene demoniac? After Jesus delivered him, he wanted to remain with Him, but Jesus told him to go home and tell about everything God had done for him. So, he went his way and “proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him” (Luke 8:39, NKJV). It’s interesting to note that when Jesus returned to the Gadarene area, the people “ran throughout that whole surrounding region” (Mark 6:55, NKJV) to bring the sick to be healed. They were eager to hear and be healed by Jesus, and this former demoniac’s witness “throughout the whole city” probably played a big part in that.
And then there’s the lame man at the pool of Bethesda who was healed. Scripture doesn’t share much about the fruit from that encounter. Maybe the formerly lame man went back to the pool regularly to encourage everyone there to seek out Jesus. Based on these previous examples, we can guess that others ended up getting healed. Maybe entire families and towns were impacted by Jesus’s obedience during that encounter. We can only imagine the impact created by Jesus going after this “one.”
Now through December 1, on the Gospel Truth broadcasts, Andrew will be focusing on the fruit of discipleship. Be sure to tune in and hear about how present-day disciples in Kenya and the Congo are “seeking the one” and bringing forth fruit.
On November 15, Andrew shares how Charis graduate Dottie Haymond, a West Virginia country girl now living in Kenya, went after one newborn and rescued the child from certain death. This disciple is taking in “throwaways” and impacting the next generation in Kenya with the love and Word of God.
On November 30, Andrew interviews Mike and Pat Heiser, Charis Bible College graduates also living in Kenya, who have rescued eighteen little “ones” off the street, many trapped in prostitution. These disciples have also graduated nearly 1,000 students from their twenty-six Bible colleges, with more than 200 churches being pastored by their alumni.
On December 1, listen in as Julie Mapatano shares how the Lord led her to start Redeeming Love Ministries in her home country of Congo. She is transforming her nation with God’s love by providing orphaned children with healthy food, proper medical care, sound schooling, and the Word of God.
What difference does “one” make? Tune in to Andrew’s broadcasts on the fruit of discipleship and find out. Never underestimate the impact of reaching out and investing in one!