“This ManAwaits Sinners!”
Jesus is awaiting the
return of sinners to
Himself in the very same
way that those who believe
in Him are awaiting
His return to the earth
In the past few days I was looking at some of the different words for “waiting” in the New Testament, and was quite touched by how one of these words is used. It is prosdechomai (Strong’s #4327), which means “to receive to one’s self” and “to expect the fulfillment of promises” (Thayer’s).
In the Gospel of Luke it’s used to speak of how Simeon was “awaiting the consolation of Israel” (2:25); of how Anna spoke to those who were “awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem” (2:38); and of how Joseph of Arimathea was “awaiting the kingdom of God” (23:51). In that Gospel the Lord also tells His disciples that they should be “like men awaiting their master when he returns from the wedding feast” (12:36).
Later in the New Testament it’s the word the Apostle Paul uses to tell us that, as the believers in Christ, we should live sober lives,
…awaiting the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.
— Titus 2:13
And Jude also uses it, exhorting us to
…keep yourselves in the love of God, awaiting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
— Jude 1:21
What surprised me was another place where this word is used in the Gospel of Luke, namely, in Chapter 15, when the Pharisees accuse Jesus of welcoming sinners:
Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
— Luke 15:2, NKJV
The word here for “receive,” as most translations render this verse, is the same Greek word, prosdechomai. So, you could translate this as,“This man awaits sinners….”
In other words, Jesus is awaiting the return of sinners to Himself in the very same way that we as the believers in Christ are awaiting His return to the earth!
What a heart He has for the lost! How He longs that they would turn to Him and receive the forgiveness of sins, to “come and dine” with Him!
And indeed, later in the same chapter, Jesus gives us the Parable of the the Prodigal Son. There we see how the Father was “awaiting” his son’s return, to the point that even when he was still so far away, he saw him and ran to greet him:
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
— Luke 15:20
The Lord not only “receives” sinners, as wonderful as that is; He is actively hoping for, waiting for, and expecting their return, to the point that when they do come back, He runs to greet them!
Lord, grant us Your heart for the lost, to long in the same way as You do for their return to the way of grace and salvation!
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— 19 April 2023 —