On February 18, 1952, a massive storm split the SS Pendleton, a tanker ship, into two pieces about ten miles off the Massachusetts coast. More than forty sailors were trapped inside the ship’s sinking stern in the midst of fierce winds and violent waves.
When word of the disaster reached the Coast Guard station in Chatham, Massachusetts, Boatswain’s Mate First Class Bernie Webber took three men on a lifeboat to try to save the stranded crew against nearly impossible odds—and brought thirty-two of the seemingly doomed sailors to safety. Their courageous feat was deemed one of the greatest rescues in United States Coast Guard history and was the subject of the 2016 film The Finest Hours.
In Luke 19:10, Jesus declared His own rescue mission: “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” The cross and the resurrection became the ultimate expression of that rescue, as Jesus took on Himself our sins and restored to the Father all who trust Him. For 2,000 years, people have embraced His offer of abundant life now and eternal life with Him. Rescued!
As followers of Jesus we have the privilege, with the Holy Spirit’s help, to join our Savior in the greatest rescue mission of all. Who in your life needs His rescuing love?
How have God’s rescuing ways affected you? What will help you effectively share His rescue plan with others?
Listen to “The Wondrous Cross” at discovertheword.org/series/fishing-tips.
Luke 19 brings us to the threshold of Jesus’s last week of public life (19:28–23:56). In the preceding chapters, we saw rumors spread like fire as the miracle worker from Nazareth moved through the Jordan Valley on His way to Jerusalem. When a blind man called out, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (18:38), the noise of wonder must have increased. But when Jesus invited Himself to the house of Zacchaeus (19:1–10), a prominent Jericho tax collector, tempers flared. Jewish citizens who collected taxes for Rome were regarded as traitors. This looked suspicious.
Only later would it be known that Zacchaeus responded to Jesus’s kindness by promising to give half of his wealth to the poor and to return to those he had cheated four times what he had taken from them. Jesus was giving His nation and us a richer understanding of salvation and what it means for sinners to be saved.