With God all things are possible. The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost
Luke 19:1-27 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. 3 Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. 4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. 5 When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. 7 When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8 Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
11 While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. 12 So He said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. 13 And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Do business with this until I come back.’ 14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ 15 When he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might know what business they had done. 16 The first appeared, saying, ‘Master, your mina has made ten minas more.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.’ 18 The second came, saying, ‘Your mina, master, has made five minas.’ 19 And he said to him also, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 20 Another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief; 21 for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 He said to him, ‘By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Then why did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?’ 24 Then he said to the bystanders, ‘Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ 25 And they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas already.’ 26 I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 27 But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”
In yesterday’s text we saw the account of the rich ruler who asked Jesus what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. In Luke 18:22-27 it says: “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. And Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” They who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” Today’s text says: He entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” So here we see the possibility with God. The text tells us that Zaccheus was rich. Yet indeed, Jesus says salvation came to him and his household. The ironic thing is that Jesus didn’t tell Zaccheus what he needed to do. Zaccheus didn’t sell everything as the rich ruler had been instructed. All Jesus did was come to Zaccheus in love. He extended mercy and grace to him. Perhaps we need to read between the lines to determine exactly what caused the change in Zaccheus. Or perhaps we should understand how things are possible with God. In John 16:7-8 Jesus says: “I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” It is the Holy Spirit who convicts the world of sin. It was the Holy Spirit, working along side Jesus, who convicted Zaccheus of his need to repent. It is the Holy Spirit who is behind every possibility and the power of God. In Genesis 1 it says: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. The Holy Spirit was present and active, with God, at creation. The Holy Spirit was moving and was the agent of the power of God in creation. The Holy Spirit was also the power behind the resurrection. Romans 8:11 says: If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
In John 14:12-14 Jesus says: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” Because He goes to the Father. What else did Jesus say would happen because He goes to the Father? He says: “I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” In Acts 1:8 Jesus says: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” In John 14:16-17, after saying we would do the works that Jesus did, Jesus says: “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” If we would do the things that Jesus did, we should rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. If we tell others what they should do, like the rich ruler they will probably go away unchanged. If though, like Jesus, we treat people with love, mercy and grace, if we create a place for the presence of God; we give a place for the power of God, a place where all things are possible. Jesus says: “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” If we would do the things that Jesus did, then we too should seek to save the lost. It is not our words of condemnation which will cause them to repent. It is the power of God and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. In John 14:23 Jesus says: "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” For us then, to do the works that Jesus did, we must keep His word. We must be a place for the abiding presence of God. We must, like Him be light in the darkness; so that others may see and respond to the possibility and the power of God, moving in the world, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit I want to be an abiding place of Your presence. I want to be an agent of Your love, mercy and grace. I want to be one who seeks to save the lost. Help me to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit, that I might see all that is possible with You. Thank You for Your word and Your promises. Thank You for Your presence and Your power in my life because of Your love, grace and mercy on the cross. Amen.