Luke 19:1-10, vs. 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.”
I find it interesting that in Luke 18, Jesus gives a parable of a Pharisee and a tax collector, one proud and the other humble. Not long after, we see Jesus encountering with a rich young ruler (very proud) who went away sad when Jesus talked to him of the first commandment. He said, “Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me“, Luke 18:22.
Upon leaving, Jesus says in the presence of His disciples, Luke 18:24-25, “24 How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! 25 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.” The disciples became puzzled by this statement, they followed with this question, Luke 18:26, “Who then can be saved?, I love Jesus’ answer because it is the heartbeat of the gospel, vs. 27, “But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” The salvation of every man witnessed to depends on God’s doing.
Luke 19:2, “Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich“. Known from a single incident in the Gospel of Luke in which he became a follower of Jesus. Zacchaeus was a rich a tax collector under the Romans. He lived in Jericho, a customs station on a major trade route. Because of the way he had gained his wealth, townspeople viewed him as a man who was a sinner vs 7. Publicans to which he was were considered sinners. It’s shocking to know that the name Zacchaeus means pure or righteous, something he was not when Jesus met him.
We are then told, Vs. 3, “And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way “. I’m curious to know how Zacchaeus knew of Jesus. Perhaps from Mathew’s encounter with Jesus in Matthew 9. Matthew was met by Christ the seeker of him. Matthew then throws a party for Jesus and invites other tax collectors. Though we are not told of Zacchaeus, could it be possible that he was present and something Jesus said captured his heart and wanted to see more of this Man? Or the other thing to speculate, he may have missed the party and having heard others talk about this amazing Man/God who was willing to hang out with the outcast considered sinners, he couldn’t wait to see Him.
He sought diligently, despite obstacles due to his limitations, he ran ahead and climbed up a tree to see Him. Those who sincerely desire a sight of Christ, like Zacchaeus, will break through opposition, and take pains to see him.
Zacchaeus appears to be the seeker, the truth of the matter is, Christ is the seeker of those lost. Going back to Luke 18, the parable He gives perfectly fits the rich young ruler and Zacchaeus. Jesus already knew of these two as we read in the parable and He was about to demonstrate something to qualify His statement when He said, Luke 18:24-27, “24 How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! 25 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 27 But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God”
Salvation is impossible with man but not with God. Salvation cannot be manipulated, and no amount of prayers or even sinner’s prayer can save a person, not even the scripture verse. All these may instruct someone to the Savior but have no ability of themselves to save, why “Salvation belongs to the Lord”, Psalm 3:8, It begins with Jesus the seeker and an ends with Jesus the Savior, in between there is the sought with God given desire to seek Him through the preaching of the gospel. Blessings Ev