It’s interesting to me that Jesus made the overture to Zacchaeus. In fact, it was with urgency that He said He had to go to Z’s house THAT DAY. It was salvation day! Jesus is the Seeker – He is the shepherd who goes out into the wilds to rescue the one lost sheep.
Jesus is not afraid of sinners – they are the reason that He came!
“For the Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost.” Luke 19:10
Today we finish our focus on the wonderful salvation encounter between Jesus and Zacchaeus the hated tax collector.
It’s interesting to me that Jesus made the overture to Zacchaeus. In fact, it was with urgency that He said He had to go to Z’s house THAT DAY. It was salvation day! Jesus is the Seeker – He is the shepherd who goes out into the wilds to rescue the one lost sheep. He is like the woman who sweeps the entire house to find the one lost coin. He is like the father who waits by the mailbox for his lost son to come home. Jesus is not afraid of sinners – they are the reason that He came!
It is amazing to me that the sinless Son of God was so often accused of hanging around with sinful people. Somehow, he was very attractive to be with, even though He didn’t condone or participate in sinful activity. Jesus understands sinners – they were a focus of his mission. We would do well to learn from the Master – to really love sinful people even though we don’t participate in their lifestyle.
Zacchaeus had a very hard façade – he was involved in some very bad stuff – he was a man to be feared and hated. But on the inside he was full of cracks – his soul was parched and dry. He was rich, yes –and powerful, yes – but he was also fully and desperately lost. This encounter with Jesus seemed too easy, but it is clear that although he had not been ready in the past, he was ready this day to make a change. God’s timing. Holy Spirit– would you direct us to people in Your perfect timing! This big sinner represents the lost people that Jesus came to save.
It makes me think of Nicky Cruz who many years ago was leader of the New York city gang called Mau Mau. David Wilkerson had a burden for this group and despite threats continued to offer Christ to them. One day Nicky felt great guilt for all his sins, and he prayed for salvation. Nicky ended up going to Bible college and gave his lifetime to gospel work.
Or Lee Strobel who was an atheistic journalist whose wife became a Christian. He studied the faith to understand his wife and at 29 became a Christian. Since then, this big sinner has been a preacher and has written 25 books on reasons for faith.
The Spirit is still calling people today – not to you or me, but the attraction is Jesus. Who are the lost among you? Could you invite the Holy Spirit to lead you as you join Christ in His mission?
Pastor Leon Throness
After encountering Christ for salvation – what is left to experience? Can the Christian life really be vibrant and challenging – even into old age? As he surveys his life from the perspective of his 90’s, Henry Peters has something to say about the dynamic Christian walk. This latest Encounter podcast will be released on Monday, December 5th, go on the CAC website, click ‘resources’, and then to ‘podcasts.’