Scripture: “For the son of man came to seek and to save the lost” Luke 19:10.
Observation: Zacchaeus was lost; there was no disputing this. In the presence of Jesus, Zacchaeus was made acutely aware of who he was– a sinner. Back in the day, Jewish tax collectors were viewed as traitors aligned with Rome. To understand in our day how they were viewed, think of someone like Bernie Madoff, ripping off others to line their own pockets. Despised.
The righteous people grumbled when Jesus went to eat at Zacchaeus’s house. How could he do it!? Why did he do it? He did it because He came to seek and to save the lost. Do you see the irony? The problem with most people is they don’t see themselves as lost and in need of a Savior. We tend to compare ourselves to really bad people, “at least we’re not like them!” Many of us will never see how messed up we are unless take our eyes off of others and fix them on Jesus, and see Him for who he really is.
Application: I grew up in a decent moral, agnostic home. Religion was always viewed as a crutch for the weak. I had a dim view of Christians well into my early adulthood. Interestingly, I understood and accepted the idea of one God, and His son Jesus. I just didn’t see myself in need of being “saved”. I didn’t see the need for religion. I was doing fine without it.
Then everything changed. In God’s perfect plan, He brought me to a place where I was ready to hear and to know the truth. No, I wasn’t ill, or about to lose my home, in my case He brought me to a physical address – I moved in next door to a pastor. He was a curiosity to me – He didn’t appear weak and in need of a crutch, he seemed like the real deal.
After nearly six months, I visited his church. Through the words of the Gospel, my mind and heart were penetrated to the core. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, to be angry or filled with joy. I felt naked and exposed in front of everyone. I saw Jesus, and in seeing him, I saw myself, and I was ashamed.
Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. That means all of us, yep, even the good upright moral people of this world (I would argue, compared to Jesus, there are none). Only when we see Jesus for who He really is will we begin to see ourselves for who we really are – lost people whom Jesus came to seek and to save.
Prayer: Lord thank you for revealing yourself to me. Thank you for giving me eyes to see and ears to hear. Lord, continue to draw my eyes and mind to the truth. I pray you would help me be the kind of person who is able to make You known to others so they also might see You for who You really are, and in turn, see that they are the “lost” whom you came to save.