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February 23, 2024


Perhaps you’ve been hearing us talk a lot about the ONE lately. When it comes to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the ONE matters a great deal. Therefore, the ONE matters a lot to us, too.


So, what do we mean when we say, “the ONE?” You don’t have to look far into Scripture to see what we’re talking about. Though Jesus will often speak to and teach the crowds, his conversation and his transformative work is done one-on-one. He touches the sick person, he raises the dead and holds their hand as they rise, he looks them in the eye, and he uses personal intimate language addressing them. He eats with people, walks with them, he asks questions, he challenges their thinking, and he acknowledges their faith. These are the actions of our King.


In fact, Jesus was so concerned with individuals, you’ll notice that he almost intentionally dismisses the crowds. Sure, he’ll teach them and feed them and care for them, but afterward he often retreats by himself or with his disciples. Sometimes his teaching of the crowds will be so hard for them to hear that they’ll try to kill him. Other times his teaching will sound like madness and the crowds will walk away rejecting him. Jesus doesn’t mind the big crowds. However, they are never his intention. He goes after the ONE.


3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. -Luke 15:3-7


In Matthew 9 Jesus is persuaded by a synagogue ruler to come and heal his dying daughter. Jesus cares about the ONE. Along the way, throngs and crowds of people are pressing all around him, and yet he cares about the ONE. Even when the woman who had been subjected to bleeding for 12 years touches his robe, he knew she had done so. He stops in his tracks, forgetting the crowd, and draws her out and to himself. Jesus is obsessed with the ONE.


This means two things for you and me. One, Jesus comes after you. He wants intimacy with you. He wants vulnerability with you. He wants to look you in the eye and listen to you. He also has things he wants to say to you. And two, he wants you and me to care for the ONE as well.


Are you obsessed with the ONE in your life who doesn’t know Jesus? If we are Christians, this means that we apprentice after Jesus. As apprentices, we mimic and do what the master does. Are we, too, focused on the ONE? It’s easier for us to be focused on ourselves or the crowd. We are consumed with our own worries, preferences, and schedules. We are also very aware of who is in the crowd, what they will think, and what will draw them. But somewhere in between ourselves and the congregation are many ONES.


A few quick practices we can pick up from Jesus:

  1. He stopped and took notice: Slow down, be looking for, and notice the ONE God may be putting right in front of you.

  2. He approached with love and compassion: Ask questions to listen and understand.

  3. He invited to a different way: Share how Jesus has and is transforming your life.


These interactions may not always lead to a faith conversation. You may or may not invite someone to come to church with you right away (or ever). But you will be going after the ONE as Jesus did. And Jesus always intentionally went after the ONE to draw them to himself. Be careful, though. The ONE isn’t a project or a goal. The ONE isn’t a duty. The ONE is a son or daughter of our Heavenly Father. Just like you and me. They are your family members, your neighbors, co-workers, the barista, the one at the gym, the one that watches sports with you. They have hurts, hang-ups, and hopes just like you and me.


Pray for the ONE that God has put into your life. Pray that the ONE will be revealed to you in the next few weeks. Then, as their face and name become clearer to you: notice, approach, and invite.


All for God’s Glory,



Nathan Hinkle

Lead Pastor

White Oak Christian Church


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