Who are you passing by today?
Lord, teach me to love all your people and to have a heart for those who are not yet grafted into your vine. Remind me that I am a sinner, saved by grace, and that there are many others out there in the world waiting to know you…if I will only reach out to them and tell them about you.
Read: Luke 19:10, NIV
10 "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”
The text today comes from one of the passages that many of us loved as kids: The story of Zacchaeus. You may remember the song often sung about him, as well: “Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he.” This little rhyme makes light of Zacchaeus’ stature, but there is a more important trait about him that makes this story even more significant: he was a tax collector. The role of tax collector was given to the highest bidder. Tax collectors would collect taxes from the people in their territories and would collect more than what was required to be turned over to the Roman government. Whatever they collected “above” what they paid to the Romans was theirs to keep. This made tax collectors, such as Zacchaeus, very unpopular with the people.
So now Jesus comes into Jericho. As he is walking by the area where Zacchaeus is, Zacchaeus wants to see Jesus (our recurring theme this week). To get a good spot, he gets up into a sycamore tree to get a better view. When Jesus comes up to that spot, he stops, looks up, and tells Zacchaeus to come down, because he is going to his house. This sends the crowd into a frenzy; as this is the tax collector, the one who makes their lives miserable! Zacchaeus is truly repentant, as he offers to repay everyone he took money from four-fold!
Jesus came to save sinners, no matter how bad off they might be! As highlighted in the verse today, Jesus didn’t come to hang out with the spiritual folks, he came to find those who were the outcasts and love them! Our mission should resemble that of Jesus Christ. We should also be reaching out to, and seeking, the lost to introduce them to the Son of God!
The world today tells you to take care of yourself and to look out for #1…you. Jesus came to save all sinners and when he left this earth, he commissioned his disciples to carry on that mission. If we are his disciples, we, too, will work to “seek and to save what was lost.” Pray that God will lead you to a “Zacchaeus” today to continue to demonstrate God’s love to a lost and dying world.
Lord, let your light shine through me, that they might not see me, but you. I pray that you would help me to see those who are passed by today. Let me see them and love them as you do. May we love everyone and neglect no one when it comes to sharing your kingdom with the world.