A Lost Person – Part 3
失丧的人 – 第三篇
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."
Continued from Part 2
2. Jesus initiated his contact with Zacchaeus
That’s why Jesus initiated His contact with Zacchaeus. He knew Zacchaeus was waiting for Him, waiting for His love, His acceptance, and His salvation.
Zacchaeus knew that Jesus’ name meant “God saves”, so he placed his expectation on Jesus. He must have heard that Jesus called Matthew the tax collector to be His disciple, and restored the blind Bartimaeus’ sight. He must have heard that Jesus healed the sick and saved the demon possessed, so he believed that Jesus could help him with his problems.
But he must have also heard of the rich, young ruler who went to Jesus to seek the way to eternal life, but later departed sadly. He heard about Jesus’ statement that, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.” If Jesus would not accept someone with such excellent qualification, would he have a chance? Let’s consider these:
-The only thing in common between the rich, young ruler and Zacchaeus was their wealth, and Jesus was not impressed by their wealth.
-If he pleaded with Jesus based on his need, there were many others having greater needs than he.
But unlike the blind Bartimaeus who shouted to get Jesus’ attention, Zacchaeus was too embarrassed to do that. So he climbed up a tree to wait for Jesus.
However Jesus didn’t wait for Zacchaeus to seek Him. He didn’t wait for him to ask Him. He didn’t wait for him to plead with Him. He took the initiative to approach Zacchaeus.
3. Jesus was not influenced by others’ opinion and misunderstanding
Jesus was not concerned with others’ opinion and possible misunderstanding of His action, because He wanted to reach out and to save lost people like Zacchaeus.
-The Bible recorded 8 times the Jews criticized Jesus for eating with the tax collectors and sinners.
-Twice the Jews criticized Jesus for His association with tax collectors and prostitutes.
-They had given up on Zacchaeus, treating him as being lower than sinners and prostitutes.
But Jesus gently called him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”
-How sweet it was for Zacchaeus to hear his name spoken by Jesus. -Without accusation, only acceptance and belief that he had the capacity to live up to the meaning of his name, that was “righteous and kind”. -Jesus saw a precious lost soul behind Zacchaeus’ facade, one of the many lost souls for whom Jesus died on the cross. -Jesus didn’t hesitate to call Zacchaeus. He said, “Come down immediately” because it was urgent to save a lost soul.
To be continued next week.
Thank you, Lord, for coming to dwell with us. May we open our heart to you and may we live up to your calling in our life.
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