A Lost Person – Part 2
失丧的人 – 第二篇
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 being a short man he could not, because of 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 what was lost."
1. Jesus knew Zacchaeus’ spiritual journey
Jesus came to seek and save Zacchaeus who was lost. First He must have known Zacchaeus’ situation. What was Zacchaeus’ situation? Zacchaeus had 2 problems: a problem with his life and a problem with his image.
First let’s look at his problem with his life. He was a chief tax collector and a wealthy man. He had money and status, but he was not happy. He was a chief tax collector. In the eye of the Roman government, he was simply a tool to take advantage of the Jews; and to the Jews, he was a traitor who helped their foreign conqueror the Roman Empire oppress them, and he was also a sinner who profited from high tax levied on his fellow countrymen. To the Jews he was also unclean due to his contact with the gentiles.
The Jews considered all tax collectors their public enemies. Therefore Zacchaeus, being a chief tax collector, was hated by his people.
Zacchaeus lived a life that was rich in material, but poor in spirit. Nowadays some people have great power for material gains, but they cannot enjoy life, living in discontentment and disappointment.
Have you ever seen the bumper stickers that say “I’d rather be fishing”, “I’d rather be skiing”, etc. That means they are not content with what they are doing, yet they are stuck in it. Zacchaeus loved his job for all its money, but hated it because of the stigma associated with it.
Zacchaeus also had a problem with his image. He might have wished his parents didn’t name him Zacchaeus, because this Hebrew name means “righteous” or “charitable”. Are you kidding? A righteous and charitable chief tax collector? No way!
Besides his name being taken as a joke, Zacchaeus might not like his stature, because he was short. Sometimes we are conscious of our physical characteristics. Some think they are too tall while others think they are too short. I read that the famous missionary to China, Miss Lottie Moon, refused to be photographed standing up because she was short, only 4 feet 3 inches tall. Zacchaeus might have sought career excellence and materialistic gain to make up for his shortness, but Jesus knew that he didn’t have
contentment from them.
To be continued next week.
May we place our hope and expectation on Jesus and may we find contentment in our Lord.
Tom and Tehwan Tso
“The outcome of your faith is the salvation of your souls.” 1Peter 1:9
“信心的果效， 就是灵魂的救恩” 彼得前书1：9