by Rev Jason Phua
Bible Reading: Luke 19:1-27; Proverbs 22:17-19
READ (verses chosen for meditation)
Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Whenever I read about Zacchaeus’ encounter with Jesus, it never fails to amaze me on how the chief tax collector radically transformed from being a loyalist of the Roman Empire to becoming a loyalist of the Lord. When Jesus wanted to come into his house (of which no Jewish leaders had done before); he was so filled with joy and declared that he will generously compensate anyone he had defrauded and give half of his money to the poor. While the Jews grumbled against Jesus’ action to go into the house of a “sinner”; Zacchaeus was so full of gratefulness that the Messiah was receiving his hospitality. Notice that it wasn’t until Zacchaeus made the faith call for restoration that Jesus pronounced salvation. Zacchaeus’ heart was truly for the Lord. This is in deep contrast to the story a chapter earlier, where the wealthy young man found it difficult to let go of his immense wealth to follow Jesus; though ironically he asked what must I do to inherit eternal life.
Indeed, God had come and will come again to save the lost. His primary purpose was and still is, to save and sanctify those who are remorseful of our sins, willing to repent and seek grace from God to be saved. Anything else is to be in support of this primary mission. Even for those who had believed; we must make the decision on a daily basis to be sanctified. We must work with God to grow in holiness and worship.
As I read this passage, I am convicted that there is much of me that needs the heart of Zacchaeus. There is much of me that needs to climb that sycamore tree, seek Christ and be filled with joy that He is already my Lord and Saviour. There is much of me that needs to extend the love of God to others, to receive the poor, the lost and the outcast just as Jesus did. There is much of me that needs to follow the primary mission of God; to be used as an instrument for leading others into the kingdom. Therefore Lord, help me to be like Zacchaeus, who abandoned the many things in this world to sincerely follow You.
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy, never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love!