So I ran across this verse in Luke 19:10 translated in the Easy-to-Read Bible: The Son of Man came to find lost people and save them. I had never heard that verse translated in just that direct and delicious way so I read through several translations to see other ways it has been translated and what commentaries had to say.
I believe this is a solid translation, consistent with reasonable understanding across a wide spectrum of Bible scholarship. This is good news for me since many of the men and women in prison have not had access to the best education and often struggle with reading...so much so that many are unable to even study for a GED. So to have a resource to reference for these folks is very important since I have not read anywhere in the Bible that God came to save the academically gifted alone.
So this has become one of my favorite verses to include when I am writing to folks who may not be very familiar with the finer points of Bible scholarship, but who have spent a lifetime getting an education in being lost, falling through the cracks and feeling invisible except when they feel like a target. This speaks to folks who feel permanently lost and plainly, directly and unambiguously in need of being saved. They have no expectation that they will ever get it right, no hope of a better tomorrow when it has been such a long time since they had a day that was not a struggle.
So today I say a great big Thank You to God for sending folks who can share the Word of God with a person right where they are, just as Christ comes to all of us, right where we are and saves us just as we are. No matter whether we are brilliant or simple, cocky or self-effacing, important in the world or ignored by the world, part of a large extended family or all alone, incarcerated or in the free world N-OT-H-I-N-G P-R-E-V-E-N-T-S God from finding us and saving us.
Absolutely amazing...and absolutely true.