Our scripture this week is Luke 19:1-10.
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” 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.”
This week’s lesson finds Jesus on the move, as He often was. He lived out His ministry going where He was needed, not afraid to engage those His society deemed “unfit”. This meant lepers, the poor and foreigners, but as we see in this passage, sometimes the wealthy and powerful.
The guidance for us who claim His name is clear in verse 10, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” The lost of our world is a very large group, it includes us all! Jesus makes clear that He came for everyone but especially those who are rejected or hated.
Sometimes it’s hard for us to reach out to certain groups. Those who are ill or poor or disabled are usually innocent bystanders in their conditions, having done nothing to cause it. In this story, Jesus reaches out to a wealthy and powerful man, hated by his community, to show that God wants all His lost children back. How do we reach out to those who seem to live well in this world but are still lost?
Gracious God, help us to see that not all the lost are poor or sick. Sometimes they seem to be living the “good life”, but are in need of Your love just the same as we. Make us representatives to share Your mercy to all the world. Amen.