When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.’ ”
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” – Luke 19:5-9
Jesus clearly states his mission. To seek and save. Isn’t it also the Coast Guard who many time have a mission of search and rescue? Hmm, maybe it is a similar thing.
So here we see the purpose of Christ. Zacchaeus had just climbed a tree to get a better view of Jesus. He was a short fellow and needed a boost. Probably would have been bad manners to ask one of the locals to allow a tax collector to get on your shoulders like a kid at a parade.
But why would Jesus seek out Zacchaeus to save? Why not some of the others?
Maybe because Zacchaeus was looking. Maybe the others were just spectating. He cared enough to get a glimpse of God that he made an effort to get in a tree for a better view.
Jesus put Zacchaeus in his sites and the mission was on.
I remember as a kid people saying that we should go door-to-door and ask people if they are going to hell or heaven. That seemed pretty stupid to me. Who wants to do that? I did some face to face “witnessing” when I was a Freshman in college. We made some small connections, but for the most part, it was embarrassing and uncomfortable. Why? Because we were engaging people who were not even looking. And if they were looking, we didn’t even have the courtesy to get to know them (note: Jesus ate with Zacchaeus).
The way I have seen the kingdom move the best is when people who are followers of Christ connect with people who are looking, even casually for God. I think that God designs circumstances for followers to engage lookers. I think it is my responsibility to look for people who are looking. To look for people in the trees.
God, help me to see the people in the trees. If they are looking for you, I will engage them and try to make an influence in them so that they can see you clearer. I tend to live life with my head down. Maybe I don’t think there are people in the trees. More honestly, maybe I don’t want to see them, because then I have a responsibility. If your mission is to seek and save, should mine be any different? My heart needs changed and my eyes need directed.
[tags]Luke 19, devotions, Life Journal, Zacchaeus, Jesus, mission, seek, save[/tags]