Jesus came to save people from all walks of life.
35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.’
38 He called out, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’
39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’
40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 ‘What do you want me to do for you?’
‘Lord, I want to see,’ he replied.
42 Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.’43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.’ 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.’
8 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.’
9 Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’
To understand this section of Luke it is probably best to start at the very end of it. Jesus said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” We read here of two lost men. One, the blind man with obvious hardships. The other, Zacchaeus, who was, by the world’s standards, a resounding success because he was wealthy and powerful. Despite their differences they were both lost and needed Jesus.
Jesus shows here he seeks people who are rejects in their community as both these men were. People grumbled when Jesus paid attention to Zacchaeus for the simple reason that they didn’t like him and abhorred his sinful selfish life. When the blind man called out to Jesus the crowd was telling him to be quiet. He was not important enough to bother the great teacher. Many in our world feel rejection. It can be for clear reasons with the thought there is no one to blame but the one who is rejected. It can also be for reasons of being perceived as a burden. The good news is that our Lord has come to seek and save “rejects” of all types. You can never say nobody cares about me, because it is false. Jesus cares enough to die for you.
Jesus also seeks desperate people. Both these men were desperate. The blind man knew life was not going to change without a miracle. While he remained blind, he would be a beggar. Zacchaeus knew that while he behaved in his abhorrent ways, life would be a burden. Even more important both were sinners in need of forgiveness, and both needed hope of eternal life. Desperation drove both to thrust themselves into Jesus view. Sadly, many people in our world keep avoiding the reality of desperation by attempting to make light of their problems or sinfulness. It is far better to accept reality, understand the desperation of a life without peace with God, and then cry out to Jesus for mercy.
Wonderfully, both were lovingly accepted by Jesus. People like them, people like us are the very reason that Jesus came into the world. He came to seek people and when he finds them, he accepts them. He also saves them. At this point in his life Jesus was heading toward Jerusalem where he would be rejected for the sake of the rejects. He would be condemned as a substitute for desperate sinners. He would die for the ones he has sought out and loved, so that there would be no punishment for them. He would rise to provide eternal life.
We may be like the blind man and feel we have not much going for us, but all hope lies in Jesus. If we are like Zacchaeus, rich and powerful, we need to know that without Jesus there is ultimately no hope. With Jesus there is acceptance, peace and everlasting joy.
Head: Do you acknowledge your need of Jesus as your saviour.
Heart: Jesus shows amazing love so it should be responded to with love and trust
Hands: Think about how you can be used by the Lord to show lost people the hope that is in Jesus.
Prayer: Loving Father, thank you that Jesus came to seek and save the lost because I need him to do that for me. Help me to direct others to him so that they too can know that perfect salvation in him. In Jesus name. Amen.
A song to listen to: This is Love
Living Church – Creek Road