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November 15 | Luke 19:1-10


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Sought and Saved

by Mary Kate Hipp

"For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost."


In verse five, Jesus calls Zacchaeus by name. This would have been outrageous, preposterous, and downright confusing for the crowd, after all, Jesus and Zacchaeus had never met before--how could he have known this? It was the Jewish belief that only prophets had the ability to call someone by name whom they had never met before. Why was Jesus, the prophet, calling to such a terrible man who paraded the poor for the good of the ruthless Romans?


To add to the cultural insanity, Jesus asks to come into Zacchaeus' home and stay with him! It was not common for people in ancient Israel, no matter their status, to invite people into their homes, let alone ask to go into someone's home. Jesus, the prophet, a highly pious being, willingly resided with a tax collector, a generally hated individual. Why? Was there no other suitable home for He and His disciples to stay? Did Zacchaeus have the highest-rated first-century Airbnb? Was Zacchaeus supremely pious? The answer is simple: Jesus came to seek and to save the lost, even Zacchaeus. Christ calls us, even in our brokenness, to have a seat at His table. Rejoice today because Christ has reserved a seat for you, a sinner, the lost.


In this passage, we see Jesus' desire to seek and save the lost at whatever cost, even if it means going additional seventeen-ish miles out of the way on His journey to Jerusalem. See, the trek from the Galilean region (where Jesus' ministry began) to Jerusalem is a fairly straight shot. It makes little sense for Jesus to "pass-through" (v.1). We therefore can affirm that Jesus seeks, craves, strives after, and even demands to save the lost even if it means breaking social norms and crossing an extra hill (literally).


Jesus seeks and saves the lost at whatever cost. He reserves a seat for you at His table. Now, Zacchaeus' response to Jesus' declaration of salvation was to give abundantly. A modern middle eastern practice is that of outrageous hospitality known as karam. Karam oftentimes involves offering more than one can actually afford. An Arab shopkeeper I befriended in Israel once explained to me that hospitality is the bedrock of the middle east. To offer more than one can afford is highly generous--therefore demanding respect and inviting devoted kinship.


What is our response to Jesus' salvation? Can we make room for Jesus? Can we manage to offer Him more than we can afford? Is He worth our everything?


PRAYER

Jesus,

Thank You for seeking and saving me. Thank You for reserving a table for me. Help me to surrender my all to You as an offering in response. Jesus, You are worthy of it all.

Amen.








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