Speak to me, Lord, so that when I speak to others, my words would be an echo of Your voice.
Read Luke 19:1–10
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays” (Ezek. 34:15,16).
This is the story of another rich man, Zacchaeus, but this encounter with Jesus has a different outcome. Jesus had already gathered a reputation as a “friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Luke 7:34), a further example of the way Jesus lived riskily. Tax collectors made a rich living by exacting more than was required and consequently they were resented and hated by the people (7). Zacchaeus, however, is exceedingly keen to see and meet Jesus and to welcome him into his home and life. He is thoroughly transformed, amends his life and gives notice that he will compensate generously anyone he has cheated. With God all things are indeed possible!
This delightful incident in Jericho became the occasion for Jesus to articulate a short, sharp mission statement: “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (10). Here we discover Jesus’ own analysis of the human condition. People are lost. Jesus has previously made this point in the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost sons (Luke 15). He is the long-promised Good Shepherd who has come to rescue the lost (John 10:11). To be lost means to be in the wrong place or to be heading in the wrong direction. Human beings are the victims of a lost relationship (with God), a lost experience (of God’s love) and a lost destiny (eternal life)—bad news. But the good news is that Jesus has come to seek and save. To find what is lost you go to where the lost thing is. Jesus has come to reverse the human condition. He has lived fully in relationship to God, has delighted in God’s love and has conquered death, opening the door to eternal life for those who, like Zacchaeus, will welcome him.
Where did Jesus first find you? How did he get you to join him? What wrongs did you have to make right?
Lord, it is wonderful to be able to sing, “I once was lost but now am found” (John Newton, 1725–1807). I rejoice that I am Your child and a part of Your family.
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