Seeking and Saving the Lost

Luke 19.1-10

Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Zacchaeus is as lost as they come, and yet he has a divine appointment with the Savior. No one is so far gone that Jesus cannot rescue them. And He delights to do so.

Zach had it all according to the world’s standards…or mostly all. While he may not have had the respect that the rich ruler had, he certainly had the affluence. He had power. He had influence. And even though he might not have had respect, he still was feared. He wanted for nothing materially. And yet he wasn’t satisfied. Money, power, influence, even fame (or infamy) had left him feeling empty somehow inside. Something was missing. He didn’t know Jesus, but he had heard stories. Maybe Jesus somehow could provide what was missing. So Zach went looking for Him, only to find that Jesus had been searching for him all along.

Maybe you are like Zach…you’ve tried everything and yet nothing satisfies. Something is missing…you are never really comfortable anymore, your conscience bothers you, there is no peace. If so, you’re in the sycamore tree, and Jesus is asking you to come down. He wants to dine with you. He wants you to be a part of His kingdom. No matter what you’ve done or how bad you think things are, no one is beyond His reach. Jesus said, “It’s not the healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5.29-32). If that’s you today, don’t wait. Come quickly. Today is the day of salvation.

Jesus changes everything. Zach went from being a selfish taker to being a generous giver. Jesus will do that to you. Having been rescued by Jesus, Zach also had a strong desire to be reconciled and restored in his relationships with others. He wanted to make things right. Giving to the poor and repaying those you have hurt doesn’t save you, but it’s a pretty good indication that salvation has taken place. What changes has Jesus made in your life?

For those of us who have trusted in Jesus, His mission is our mission…seeking and saving the lost. It’s a rescue mission, and it’s one that requires urgency and intentionality. We are called to storm the gates of hell…to hang out with those far from God with a desire to see them come to trust in Jesus. Unfortunately that will cause some to grumble because we are hanging out with the wrong crowd. Don’t worry…you are in good company. They grumbled at Jesus too. Doesn’t mean we compromise our walk, but it does mean that we take some relationship risks for the sake of the gospel. There ought to be some dangerous folks on our Impact Lists…

“Zaccheus was a wee, little man, And a wee, little man was he. He climbed up in a sycamore tree, For the Lord he wanted to see. And as the Savior came that way, He looked up in the tree, And He said, ‘Zaccheus, come on down,’ For I’m coming to your house today. For I’m coming to your house today. Zacchaeus was a happy man, and a happy man was he. For he had seen the Lord that day, and a happy man was he, and a very, very happy man was he.”

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on a sermon from our series in the book of Luke. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: @ccclancaster

What Is Your Status?

“He entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich.” Luke 19:1-2 NASB

In an age where NFL quarterbacks are signing contracts for over a hundred million dollars, boxers like Floyd Mayweather Jr. making $14,815.00 per second, $889,889.00 a minute in his match against Manny Pacquiao, and company executives make hundreds of thousands a year, it is easy to get lost in all the hype and status of being rich.

Titles and money can bring cultural status but our true worth can only be found in Jesus.

Zacchaeus is a man who had status. He is described in this passage as “chief tax collector”.

This title is found nowhere else in the New Testament. Jericho was a major toll collection point for goods passing from the east and west. There were likely many tax collectors in this city but Zacchaeus is described as rich, and the Chief tax collector.

Yet despite his wealth and status, Zacchaeus runs and climbs a tree just to get a glimpse of Jesus passing by.

Zacchaeus is described as a man small in stature, he could not have seen Jesus on account of the crowd.

Jesus routinely had huge crowds following him and now its Passover, the crowd is probably as big as ever.

Zacchaeus climbs a sycamore tree to see the Lord, and when he encounters Jesus he receives him joyfully.

Faith brought salvation to the house of Zacchaeus.

In experiencing this saving faith, Zacchaeus realized his true worth could only be found in Jesus.

Zacchaeaus immediately sought to right the wrongs he had committed and Jesus, seeing the condition of his heart, declares, “today salvation has come to this house.”

The contrast between Jesus and Zacchaeus can found in their actions.  Zacchaeus, after a change of heart, seeks to make things right with those he has wronged, while Jesus, passing through Jericho on His way to Jerusalem, is making things right with people who have wronged Him.

Our true worth can only be found in Jesus, regardless of our title or status.

Matt Guarino

Youth Director