A Lost Person – Part 4
失丧的人 – 第四篇
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 3
4. Jesus took the initiative to build a relationship with Zacchaeus
Jesus himself wanted to stay at Zacchaeus’ house, to give him mercy in spite of what the people might think.
-Jesus gave Zacchaeus an opportunity to host him, to practice hospitality. Zacchaeus must not have too many chances to receive fellow Jews because none would want to associate with a tax collector. He might have a beautiful home, with many servants, but without guests it was not lively at all.
-Hospitality is often mentioned in the Bible as a virtue. Nowadays many Christian homes are used for gospel’s sake, and God blesses them. They also have the satisfaction of seeing many seekers getting saved.
-Once Zacchaeus received Jesus to his home, it brought about great changes.
-Jesus gave Zacchaeus the chance to receive Him, not only into his home, but also into his heart. When he wanted to receive Jesus into his home, he had to decide to receive Him in his heart. When one decides to receive Jesus into his heart, his life will be changed. For nobody can receive Jesus without being changed!
5. Jesus’ love brought about Zacchaeus’ actions that matched his repentance
The Bible doesn’t indicate that Jesus called for Zacchaeus’ repentance or whether he repented or not. However, Zacchaeus did say, “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.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house,because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.” Zacchaeus’ action proved his repentance,
and we also know by Jesus’ comment that he had repented.
Through Jesus’ example we have learned of His love for the lost and the following key elements of His evangelism:
1. Jesus knew about Zacchaeus before He reached out to him. We must first get to know the person with whom we want to share the gospel.
2. We must, like Jesus, take initiative to connect with the person.
3. Jesus accepted Zacchaeus even when the Jews rejected him. We must accept the lost person but not his sins.
4. Jesus took initiative to call Zacchaeus. We must take initiative to build a relationship with the lost person, to love him as God loves him.
5. Zacchaeus received Jesus and his life was changed. We must lead the lost person to receive Jesus, to live a new life.
The September 1985 issue of Times-Reporter reported this news story:
A party was held beside a public swimming pool in the City of New Orleans to celebrate their first year without any drowning in their public pools. Among the 200 people attended the party 100 of them were certified lifeguards. When the party was about to end, 4 lifeguards on duty began to clean the pool when they found in the deep end a body dressed in a nice suit. They tried to resuscitate him, but it was too late. Jerome Moody, age 31, drowned in the company of 100 lifeguards celebrating their success for the year.
Every Sunday we gather to celebrate Jesus, let’s not allow anyone among us to perish without knowing the 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