Hide and seek ∙
The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. – Luke 19:10
1 Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town.
2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich.
3 He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd.
4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.
5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.
10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
Americans love to go camping. The whole family goes off to some national Park or camping grounds and sets up for some time alone in the woods without cell phone reception. Sadly, little children often wander off alone and become separated from their families. They get disoriented and then find themselves lost in the woods. Usually, fear takes over when they realize they’re totally alone and have no clue where they are. Rescue missions are organized. Sometimes they are successful, other times not.
The Father sent the Lord Jesus Christ on a rescue mission for people just like us. We are truly lost, but most of us do not know it. The Lord Jesus Christ said He came “to seek and to save that which was lost.” The fact of the matter is that He is seeking us. If we really want to be found and rescued in this life and for eternity, the Lord Jesus Christ makes it possible through His sacrificial death.
When born into this world, most of us have a human family. Others are unwanted and “alone,” separated from their natural mother and/or father. We are all born spiritually separated and far removed from the Father God.
Some of us are “alone,” even in the midst of crowds. We are social isolates. We come to see ourselves as outcasts with no sense of belonging. We are lost. We, too, need to be rescued! So it was with Zaccheus.
To be found, we have to know we are lost. Often, it takes desperation and great sorrow to bring many of us to this point.
Zaccheus was determined to see Jesus and would let nothing stop him. For Zacchaeus to mingle with the crowd at all was a courageous thing to do. It was an opportunity not to be missed. Things were not easy for Zacchaeus, but the little man had the courage of desperation (Barclay).
REFLECT & PRAY
The Heavenly Father has drawn up a rescue plan. He has executed it. He is now actively seeking us.
Father thank You for rescuing me from being eternally lost. Show me how to experience life as You intended it for me.
We are like sheep that have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6). Jesus, the Good Shepherd, seeks out lost sheep. All those who accept His gracious offer are found and saved.
To be “found” requires an act of “radical repentance.” Often repentance is seriously misunderstood. Many think it requires mental and physical contrition, remorse, and penitence. The Greek word translated as repentance is metanoeo. Metanoeocomes from two Greek words meta – change and noeo – mind. It simply means to “change one’s mind.” In the Old Testament, repentance called for a change in a person’s attitude toward God that impacted one’s actions and life choices; it involved the idea of “turning” from one way of thinking and living to a different way (ESV notes). External acts of contrition often follow along with prayers of remorse, confession, and the renouncing of sin. But repentance itself is simply changing your mind.
We change our minds about the Truth the Father provided in the Word of God. His Truth becomes our Truth. We enter into a personal relationship with our Rescuer. Father then begins a lifelong process of rescuing us from ourselves, our wrong thinking, and heart wounds. He transforms us from the inside out, and we change our ways.
When we are “found,” we are no longer outcasts; instead, we are adopted and welcomed into the Father’s Forever Family. We become His precious, beloved, and cherished children.
But there is more! He has made it possible for us to experience all He has dreamed and planned for our lives.
John 10:10 I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
For one reason or another, many of us find ourselves merely passing through life, not really enjoying it. We get busy doing things, but we do not experience the joy that comes from a close relationship with the Father. Many of us lack close, intimate, long-term friendships and relationships. Our lives have become very superficial and materialistic. We give ourselves over to things with only temporal value and significance rather than eternal worth. Can you imagine what it would be like to one day stand before the Father, and admit we lived dull, boring lives of “quiet desperation?”
1 Timothy 6:17 God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
© Dr. H 2022