The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.
Zacchaeus’ encounter with Jesus took place when the Jews were a colonized people of the Roman Empire. Most Jews resented having to pay taxes to a government they despised. But they harbored even greater contempt for those fellow-Jews who collected taxes for the Romans. Tax collectors often required people to pay more taxes than Rome demanded, keeping the extra cash for themselves. As far as most Jews were concerned, all tax collectors were thieves and traitors.
Somehow Zacchaeus heard about Jesus. Zaccheus wanted to see this person who was making people well. Jesus’ encounter with Zacchaeus was no accident; it was all according to God’s preordained plan. It reminds me of these words from one the great Christian hymns:
I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew
he moved my soul to seek him, seeking me;
it was not I that found, O Savior true;
no, I was found, was found of thee.
The crowd was not pleased with Jesus for going to the house of a “sinner.” But Jesus, who came “to seek and to save what was lost,” would not be deterred by their scornful protest. As a result, Zacchaeus’ life was transformed. God’s love moves us to believe “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Father, pour out your love into my heart that I may fully accept that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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