Seek and save the Lost!

Scripture reading for March 30th:  Luke 19

When I was very young, my mother loved to tell Bible stories with a flannel board.  I remember her telling me the story of Zacchaeus, the little man who had to climb a tree to see Jesus.  This story interested me, because I was short and had a desire to see Jesus too!

Zacchaeus was a tax collector.  He was a Jew who worked for the Roman government collecting taxes.  His salary came from adding onto the tax collections, often using fraudulent means.  People holding this job were considered by the Jews to be the worst of sinners!  But Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus and climbed up into a tree to get a better view.  “When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, com down immediately.  I must stay at your house today.””  (Luke 19:5)  This caused people to mutter about Jesus eating with sinners!

“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 what was lost.”  (Luke 19:8-10)  In the presence of the lover of sinners, Zacchaeus had true repentance!  He turned from his deceitful ways and was willing to follow God’s instructions.  He wanted to give to the poor and to restore money he might have taken by cheating.  Jesus declared that salvation had come to his house!  After all, Jesus came to save sinners like me and the short man up in the tree!

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