Verse of the Week
Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” [Luke 19:9-10]
The Big Picture
The son of man came to seek and save the lost. In Matthew 9:12 when Jesus is first calling Matthew as a disciple He says this, “”It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Jesus came on a great rescue mission. He didn’t come so that the righteous people who have a good life can all gather and sit and enjoy His grace. Jesus came and paid it all for us so that we can extend His glory to the ends of the earth, to the sick, the needy, the broken. Jesus died for all that would come to know Him, not some.
Realize the barriers of sin:
Walls of Idolatry: The enemy is a crafty one for us here in the US. He loves to get us busy and start to slowly shift our focus from becoming more like Christ, to all sorts of other “good things”. As we begin to get busy with kids sports, jobs, and hobbies these good things can start to become God things in our life. This is where it starts to become an idol in our life that keeps us from enjoying the fullness of our life in Christ.
Walls of Shame: Zacchaus had both! The idol of money and the label of outcast. Shame for his position and things he had done as a tax collector. Tax collectors were the worst of the worst. No doubt the jeers, and sneers of the crowds began to wear on him. He was hated by people. His sin was very public. Sin is the barrier to a fulfilled life; it always over promises and always under delivers. It’s like dipping a basket in a well that never brings water. Conviction comes from the Lord but condemnation comes from the enemy. Sin is the barrier to a relationship with God.
Those barriers create a burden to see Jesus
Zacchaeus’ barriers created a burden to go see Jesus. It says that he heard of Jesus and wanted to go see him. He made the effort to go and just see Him. Our burden brings the reality that it's time for a change. We get to live life one time. That burden leads us to overcome the barriers. Zacchaeus was short. It would have been easy to just say well it wasn’t meant to be I can’t see over the crowds. For us, maybe it’s hard to get to church or connect group this week because it's really cold outside, it's raining, and the kids are fussing. He probably wouldn’t have liked crowds because crowds didn’t really like him. That burden begins to outweigh our fears. Zacchaeus ran. It probably would have been unusual for a man to run, especially a wealthy government official. He climbed a tree just to see Jesus. Zacchaeus' burden to see Jesus outweighed the barriers in his life.
As Zacchaeus began to seek Jesus, He found that Jesus was actually seeking Him! We can rejoice that a seeking Savior will always find a sinner who is looking for a new beginning.
How has your week been spiritually? / What is God teaching you?
What are some of the obvious observations from this passage?
How does this passage relate to us individually?
Are there areas in your life that you have begun to put up barriers?
Have you come to a point in your life where it’s time for a change?
Is it time to take the next step of faith regardless of your fears?
What next step is God calling you to take?