For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost." Luke 19:10
If you ever play board games with me, know that I have an essential. I get so locked in at times when I am trying to come up with a strategy to win that I stop talking. And if you know me, I am pretty talkative. At times, my wife has to remind me when I am playing with the kids that I should probably talk with them and just enjoy the game.
There are times, though, when having a laser focus becomes really important. When you're a part of an organization or company, having this type of awareness helps keep you on mission and on point. If you face stress or feel the pressure of a lot of people who need things, you can see what is most important.
Jesus had this type of laser focus. When He walked the earth, so many people wanted to be close to Him. They wanted healing, miracles, a free meal, and so much more. Instead of being distracted by the pressing needs pushing in from every direction, He was laser-focused on saving the lost. When He walked through the crowded streets of Jericho, He spotted Zacchaeus who had climbed up a tree. Jesus looked beyond the rich, lying, tax collector's appearance, to his potential to be changed and made right. He went to dinner with Zacchaeus even though the people scorned the idea. As a result of that encounter, Zacchaeus repents of his old way of living and makes amends for the mistakes he made, allowing Jesus to make the statement, "Today salvation has come to this house" (Luke 19:9). This happened because Jesus was zeroed in on the target of seeking and saving the lost.
I wonder if we as a church have the same focus on Jesus. Do we have eyes to see that one person in the crowd who is often forgotten and disregarded by everyone else? Do we wake up in the morning with a passion for seeking out those who are far from God? Do we desire to reach out to them in love? The hope is that we would understand the Difference One Life Can Make.
Are you a friend to those who are sinners? This may be a weird question to you, but there is a purpose to it. At times we as followers of Christ distance ourselves from lost people. After receiving Jesus, we find all Christian friends, and we start to isolate ourselves from other people slowly. The goal is that we would break the cycle of closing ourselves off to those who are far from God but build bridges with those who are sinners. This takes a quick gut check for most of us and self-evaluation. Today, take some time to write out a list of five people that you know and are in relationship with who are not yet followers of Jesus. Then commit to praying for those five people over the next four weeks.
Read Luke 19:1-10 (NLT)
Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.
When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.
Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”