0% perfect, 100% forgiven
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Luke 19:10 (NIV)
In today’s featured scripture, Jesus says he came to save the lost. Who, then, are the lost?
Clearly one of them was Zacchaeus. To the crowd watching his tree-climbing antics to see Jesus, this short of stature chief tax collector was, if you pardon the pun, the lowest of the low. A man who had turned against his own people to work for the Roman oppressors, bleeding his fellow Israelites dry and making a very nice living for himself while he was at it. Hated and vilified, condemned as a sinner, an outcast from his community, yet he desired to see Jesus at all costs.
And Jesus singling out Zacchaeus and addressing him directly by name said, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man [Zacchaeus], too, is a son of Abraham.” (v. 9). In Romans 4:3, Paul quotes from Genesis, saying that “…Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” What does this say for all us human beings? Simply that even if we are considered (or consider ourselves) the lowest of the low, believing in Jesus means we are credited with His righteousness. So if we put it all together, we come to the unescapable conclusion that Jesus saw faith in Zacchaeus and ‘…whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ (John 3:16).
Yet you only have to think about it for a few seconds to realise that Zacchaeus wasn’t the only loser in town. Despite the crowd muttering against Jesus for being ‘the guest of a sinner’ (Luke 19:7), it is in fact the crowd who are sinners. Every last one of them, ‘…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…’ (Romans 3:23). That passage in Romans plainly tells us, then, that without Jesus, all of us would be lost.
Jesus turns doubts to certainty, lost to found, death to life. Nothing, in fact, can separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus (Romans 8:38-39).
‘Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.’ Thank you Jesus, for seeking us and saving us. Amen
Study by Peter Mill
About the writer:
Peter Mill is a Minister and the Missions Developer of the National Ministry Team of Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. He is also a Pastoral Worker for Scotland and Ireland.
Gilmerton New Church
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