Jump to Prayer FocusBible Passage for Meditation: Luke 19:1-10
Key Verse: “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10
Zacchaeus may not have been living as he should have been, but one thing he did right. He was desperate to see Jesus, and he was willing to do whatever it took to accomplish this goal, even if it meant climbing a tree, going out on a limb, and having others look at him like he was strange.
Because Zacchaeus was so desperate to see Him, Jesus stopped along the way and called him to come down. In fact, Jesus didn’t just say, “Come down”; He said, “Come down quickly!” Jesus was eager to be with him.
The Bible tells us, “And he [Zacchaeus] made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, that [Jesus] was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner” (Luke 19:6, 7).
Zacchaeus hadn’t been living a moral life. He was a tax-collector and thief! That’s why the crowd simply could not understand why Jesus would go to his, of all people’s, home. But Jesus knew Zacchaeus’ heart. He saw the desperate longing for something better.
As a result, Zacchaeus was so touched by the love of Christ that he decided to pay back all those that he had taken from wrongly. According to the Levitical law, he was required to restore not only what he’d taken but also one-fifth extra. (That’s 120 percent payback, according to Leviticus 6:4, 5.) However, after his time with Jesus, he decided to give half of his wealth to the poor and to restore fourfold to those he had taken from. (That is 400 percent payback!) What motivated Zacchaeus to change so drastically, giving above and beyond the call of duty? He had met a Person; not a concept, principle, or pattern, but a Person—the Person of Jesus Christ!
Now let’s make the story more personal: What will Jesus find when He comes to our neighborhood? Are we willing to do whatever it takes to help others find this same loving, merciful Savior who has rescued us from a life of sin? Are we willing to go out, even on a limb if necessary, and appear odd to those watching, just so someone else can hear the gospel? Are we willing to follow Jesus when He calls us to minister to others, even outside our comfort zones? Are we willing to make right to those we’ve wronged?
During the next ten days of prayer, we will focus on what it means to have genuine love for the lost. Remember, Jesus isn’t looking for perfect people to be His co-laborers. He’s looking for people who are humble, empty of self, and willing to be transformed through His power. He’s looking for men and women like Zacchaeus, who are so eager to share what Christ has done for them that they will give generously to His cause, no matter the sacrifice or consequences. Are we willing to be those men and women?
Heart Prayer Challenge:
Dear Lord, as we continue praying for our church, we pray that You would pour Your Spirit upon us so powerfully that we are enabled to reach the world for You. However, we do not love others as we should. Our hearts are still selfish and cold. The reality is that we are not desperate to see others find You as we should be. Our thoughts and plans and goals have been too narrow and too self-centered. Change us, Lord! Give us hearts like Yours that are willing to do whatever it takes to see people find You. Help us not to worry about what others think. Instead, help us to live only for Your approval and Your glory. And if we’ve wronged others by our actions or lives, please show us, like Zacchaeus, how to make things right. We want You to come to our house today. We want our home to become Your home! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Coordinator, 100 Days of Prayer
General Conference Ministerial Association
[NOTE: For some excellent sharing resources visit GLOW: Giving Light to Our World. Also, available online now on our resource page are links to the video “What Might Have Been, Can Be” in Spanish, French, and Portuguese.]