To Seek And Save The Lost Michael Watkins July 1, 2004 Luke 19:1-10 This summer I led a study group on prayer at church. Arriving early one night, I found myself alone in a quiet empty church. I walked over t a table that contained free literature and started thumbing through some of the material. I noticed one pamphlet concerning prayer, and since I was leading a study group on prayer, it caught my attention, and I began reading through it. The pamphlet asked Christians to lift up in prayer specific individuals in positions of influence around the world. It listed various world leaders, heads of state, government officials and people in high profile positions in the media industry. The pamphlet had a picture of each individual, and it gave a brief synopsis of how that person influenced world affairs followed by suggestions on how to pray for that person. One picture I immediately recognized, and it aroused my interest. It was a picture of Osama bin Laden – a face we see and a name we hear often in the news. He’s the suspected mastermind of several terrorist attacks against the United States. When I saw the picture, I must confess that my first thought wasn’t to pray for his well being but for his destruction. I don’t reveal my initial thoughts with any pride or joy. I know that thought runs counter to the Gospel I preach. It wasn’t a thought grounded in love but in vengeance. The Gospel message is one where God seeks sinners for salvation. In the Bible I know of no story that better illustrates the purpose of Jesus Christ’s coming than the account of a man named Zacchaeus. It illustrates how Christ came to seek and save sinners. In the 19th chapter of Luke we meet Zacchaeus. It’s a short story – only 10 verses long. But it’s a powerful message deserving our attention. If you’re like me and have children who grew up in Sunday School, the first thing that might come to mind about Zacchaeus is a son. It starts out with the line: “Zacchaeus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he.” I like that first line. It immediately endears me to Zacchaeus. I guess it’s because I love a story where Jesus seeks and saves a short guy. The 19th chapter begins by telling us that Jesus entered the city of Jericho. Zacchaeus lived in Jericho and Luke tells us he was a chief tax collector which wasn’t at all popular with the people. Being a short man, Zacchaeus couldn’t see over the crowd so he ran ahead of the crowd and climbed up into a tree for a better view. When Jesus reached the spot where Zacchaeus was, He looked up and said: “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your hose today” (v 5). Zacchaeus immediately responded by coming down and gladly welcoming Jesus into his home. The reaction of the crowd was shock. They couldn’t believe that Jesus would associate with someone like Zacchaeus. They couldn’t believe that He would enter the home of a sinner, but He did. And because He did, an amazing thing occurred. We don’t know how long Jesus spent with Zacchaeus, but when their meeting was just about over he stood up and made an amazing statement: “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” (v. 8). Jesus responded by saying: “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” (vv. 9-10). That final verse in the story may very well rank as one of the most important verses in the entire Bible. If I were put on the spot and allowed only one sentence to describe who Jesus was and why He came, I might very well have chosen verse 10. Does Jesus need to come to your house to seek and save a lost sinner? Salvation can only come if Jesus comes. There is no other way. The good news is that He wants to come. He wants to come because you have value. He wants to come because He loves you. Your life needs a transformation that only Jesus can accomplish. Jesus came to seek and save lost sinners. The only open question is: Will you walk away or will you gladly invite Him into your house? _________________ Sermon brief provided by: Michael Watkins, Dexter, MO. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.