Unknowingly lost (21-01-22)
A Bible Reading: Luke 19. 1 – 10 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 because he was short he could not see over 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 the lost.”
My Mum recently had a problem with her hoover, which was making strange noises and not picking up properly. My brother dutifully took it to bits to ascertain the cause of the trouble. Much to his surprise, he discovered a small plastic monkey caught in the brushes. The small toy was wedged and was stopping the brushes turning properly.
We had taken Melody and Zachary to see Great Granny a few months before. They had spent an enjoyable hour playing with a box of zoo animals, which had belonged to my brother and I when we were children. The little monkey – about an inch high – had obviously been left hidden under a chair when the toys were put away. It had then inadvertently been sucked up by the hoover. It had not been missed and no one knew it was lost. However, it had been found and rescued unharmed.
This incident reminded me of Jesus’ mission to seek out and save the lost, even people who didn’t necessarily realize that they were lost. One such person was Zacchaeus, who had gained his wealth and status by collecting taxes for the Romans and keeping a bit extra for himself. Like the monkey, Zacchaeus wasn’t very big. He could easily have got missed in the crowd had he not climbed up a tree. Jesus spotted him and invited himself to his house. It was a transformational visit for Zacchaeus, who went on to give half his money to the poor and make amends with all he had cheated. The hated tax collector became a loved follower of Jesus.
Every day we meet those who are unknowingly lost, those who are lonely and without friends, those who are unhappy, insecure and hurting under the surface. Jesus came to save and love these people and we are called to do the same. Keep your eyes open and see who Jesus leads you to.
Jesus, Son of Man, you came to seek and to save the lost. Give us your eyes and your heart for the people around us, so that they may know your saving power. Amen. Amazing grace (My chains are gone) by Chris Tomlin