Seeking the Lost

This devotional is written by Kirstine Robb. Kirstine is ordinand at St Mary's and heads up Love Marylebone.

Luke 19:1-10

Zacchaeus the tax collector

19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, 'Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.' 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, 'He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.'

8 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.'

9 Jesus said to him, 'Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.'


Zacchaeus, a character from the Bible whom we probably all know and can retell the story of. Bad guy meets Jesus and becomes good. The End.

But there is so much more to it than that. It is one of my favourite Bible stories because it is a story of transformation, redemption, and grace - the stuff that only the kingdom of God offers in complete fullness.

Zacchaeus chief tax collector in town had a reputation to maintain. Yet something in him is seeking Jesus, it might have just been a glimpse of the person who was creating a buzz in the neighbourhood but still seeking a glimpse. So, he climbs a Sycamore fig tree - a total social faux par at the time forgets his reputation. All in order to see Jesus.

And Jesus response to this - to stops in his tracks, to respond, to actively demonstrate love and kindness - "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today"

It's personal - I am coming to your house. You see Zacchaeus is a great example of the personal mission of Jesus - to bring hope to the lost, healing to the sick, love to those unloved, to offer friendship to the lonely. Things that our society is crying out for and how is our community going to get to know about all of these things that Jesus offers?

By us playing our part.

You and me.

Let's ask Jesus who it is that he wants us to connect with today and for us to see them as Jesus does. Who is it that we can offer friendship to today? Who needs to know that Jesus loves them because everyone is welcome in the Kingdom of God, everyone is called into family.

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