He [i.e. Jesus] 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. Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
– Luke 19:1-10 NASB
The last few days we’ve been meditating on three “lost-and-found” parables from Luke 15. Today we turn to an actual incident in the life of Jesus, recorded a few chapters later in Luke, which could also fall into this “lost-and-found” category.
The entire Bible, by the way, could be considered a “lost-and-found” account. God creates the first man and woman…and soon they are lost. Not lost in the sense that God couldn’t locate them – He certainly knows where everyone and everything is at all times. Rather, humanity was lost in the sense of relationship. God could not relate them as originally designed…because of sin. Through His crucifixion and resurrection, God in Christ brings humanity back to Himself.
Zaccheus was scorned by the religious leaders in Israel because of his collusion with the Romans in collecting excessive taxes from the Jews. Yet his interest in Jesus and his divestiture of half of all he owned demonstrated the genuineness of his regret about sinning and his earnestness in repenting.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, let me seek you as energetically as Zaccheus sought You. And let me repent as enthusiastically as he repented. Let me do these things today as appropriate for today…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.