In many ways and innumerable situations, being “lost” is part of the human condition—from needing directions on how to get back on the highway to asking for help to restore a broken relationship.
Maybe that’s why Jesus was so passionate in his pursuit of people who’ve lost their way. In story after story ,we see Jesus deliberately making an effort to pursue lost people. It’s what we see in today’s passage: Zacchaeus was lost and Jesus went after him.
As a chief tax collector, there was probably a good reason for Zacchaeus to select a sycamore-fig tree—its large leaves would offer concealment to a man certainly despised by fellow Jews. His position, in the warm climate town of Jericho where many people had a second home, insured he received both his cut of all taxes collected and his share of hatred from his countrymen.
Even though he desired to be hidden, “When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today’” (Luke 19.5). Jesus took the effort to connect with a powerful, but unpopular man.
In the same way Jesus entered Zacchaeus’ world, we’re to enter the world of those in our sphere who are lost. We seek because Jesus seeks. Our responsibility is to be available and willing, and open to the prompting of God, as we help the lost find their way.
Who is lost and needs you to invest in their spiritual journey? Discuss this with your small group or with your family following dinner.