Jesus On a Mission
Scripture Reading: Luke 19:1-10
Key Verse: Luke 19:10
“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
It amazes me that this story is known to most of us from our childhoods. We sang songs that told the story of Zacchaeus and saw flannel graphs unfold as his story was told by our Sunday School teachers.
However, I certainly don’t want us, as adults, to miss some of the great lessons taught in this event during Jesus’s last few days on earth.
The first lesson centers around Jesus’s foreknowledge. As Jesus approached Jericho, he knew about Zacchaeus and his desire to see Him. It is this desire to see Jesus that shows the prevenient grace of God. “Prevenient grace” means God’s work in a sinner’s life to prepare them to receive Jesus as their Redeemer.
There were many that day that wanted to see Jesus out of curiosity, but I believe Zacchaeus’ desire was different. Something was stirring in his heart. If you have loved ones that have yet to come to Jesus, pray daily for God to work in them His prevenient grace!
A second lesson in this story is the fact that Jesus knows what we need to truly receive Him into our lives.
Jesus came to the tree that Zacchaeus was in and stopped to call Zacchaeus by name. Look closely to what Jesus said: “Zacchaeus! He said, Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today” (Luke 19:5b). Note that Jesus knew the name of a man He had never met and told Him exact what must happen for His salvation! Jesus knew that it was a must for Him to enter Zacchaeus’ home.
Never give up on anyone you are praying for, Jesus knows their name and exactly what must happen if they are to be saved!
The third lesson I want to note is Zacchaeus’ reaction to all this. He quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy!
I can’t help imagining some thoughts that were going through his mind: “how did Jesus know my name?”, “How did Jesus know to stop and look up at me, when He was surround by such a crowd?”, and “why would Jesus want to come to my house as a guest… does Jesus know how many people I have cheated out of their money?”.
Zacchaeus may not have thought of all that, but I would have had I been up that tree! Jesus did know all of that and still loved and wanted Zacchaeus to become a follower of His. Take heart, you’ve never known anyone that is too far gone for Jesus to redeem!
Finally, note the reaction of the people. They grumbled that Jesus had gone to be a guest of a “notorious sinner”. So many people miss the unmerited love of God and the very purpose of Jesus’s existence on this earth. Rejoice, God loves you and wants you!
Father, I will forever praise you for loving and redeeming me! With your help, I will never stop praying for those that are lost around me. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.