For 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
Jesus 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 he was unable due to the crowd, because he was short in stature. 4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree in order to see Him, because He was about to pass through that way. 5 And 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 joyfully. 7 When the people saw this, they all began to complain, saying, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner!” 8 But Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I am giving to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone, I am giving 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 Now while they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem and they thought 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 to return. 13 And he called ten of his own slaves and gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business with this money 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 summoned to him so that he would learn how much they had made by the business they had done. 16 The first slave appeared, saying, ‘Master, your mina has made ten minas more.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good slave; since you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to have authority over ten cities.’ 18 The second one 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 And then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I kept tucked away in a handkerchief; 21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man; you take up what you did not lay down, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 He said to him, ‘From your own lips I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am a demanding man, taking up what I did not lay down, and reaping what I did not sow? 23 And so why did you not put my money in the bank, and when I came back, I would have collected it with interest?’ 24 And then he said to the other slaves who were present, ‘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 already has ten minas.’ 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 as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.’”
In today’s text it says: Jesus 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 he was unable due to the crowd, because he was short in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree in order to see Him, because He was about to pass through that way. And 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 joyfully. When the people saw this, they all began to complain, saying, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner!” But Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I am giving to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone, I am giving 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.” There is nothing that tells us that Jesus spoke even a single word of condemnation to Zaccheus. In John 16:7-11 Jesus says: “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I am leaving; for if I do not leave, 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 regarding sin, and righteousness, and judgment: regarding sin, because they do not believe in Me; and regarding righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you no longer are going to see Me; and regarding judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.” The Holy Spirit is the one who convicts the world regarding sin and righteousness. It is not by our words of condemnation that others will be convinced to repent, but rather by our witness of Christ. 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 as far as the remotest part of the earth.” The Holy Spirit gives us the power to be witnesses for Christ so that He can convict sinners who have not believed in Him.
We are not to be witnesses of evil and darkness, but rather of love, goodness and light. In John 3:16-21 Jesus says: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him. The one who believes in Him is not judged; the one who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, so that his deeds will not be exposed. But the one who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds will be revealed as having been performed in God.” Each individual will be judged by their own choice, whether they choose darkness or light. Our job as witnesses for Christ is to be sure that they realize there is a choice, not by railing against the darkness, but rather by shining the light of Christ. In Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus says: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
—St. Francis of Assisi