Teleos LG Study #2 – Lost Property

Matt Destry – Communications Pastor

Scripture: Luke 19:1-9

The dusty road was a buzz of activity as Jesus passed through Jericho. The street sellers, the labourers, the city officials all gathering and gawking, pushing and shoving as the one rumoured to be the Son of God entered their town. But there was one man, too short to see over the main-street hysteria, who wanted to get a glimpse of Jesus. He also, quite frankly, enjoyed being away from the crowd. In big crowds, he ran the risk not only of being trampled, but of being quietly stabbed by right-wing fanatics who did not agree with his profession. The Zealots had never liked the tax collectors – as anyone loyal to the national identity would despise those who made profit from her capture.

Zacchaeus, the tax collector, was a lost man, like so many on that road. He was wondering, on account of his height and occupation, whether someone like him would even be able to catch the eye of a holy man. And, in an instant, Jesus arrives at the base of the Sycamore-fig where Zacchaeus was perched. “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” Later, when Zacchaeus had promised to make reparation for his crimes, Jesus offered His own statement of purpose: “the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost”.

We often feel like Zacchaeus: small, insignificant, and ashamed. The burden of our past, the fragility of our present and the uncertainty of the future all combine to place a heavy load on our lives, a load that buries the purpose of God and leaves us feeling lost at sea, without compass or anchor.

The good news is, that Jesus notices. Not only does he notice, but he is overt in his approach of us. As if that wasn’t enough, Jesus requests a meeting – at your place! In the midst of our smallness, the greatness of God bursts into our world and expands who we are and shatters our shame. He causes restoration and forgiveness to occur, and we can then ‘find ourselves’ joyful in the presence of God.

Jesus did not come for the healthy, but the sick. He did not come for the ninety-nine sheep who were safe, but the one that was lost. Take courage today, because God knows you, he sees you, he loves you, and no matter how lost you may feel, with humility you can recognise Jesus as he stands before you, wanting to bring you on a journey of faith and transformation.

Discussion questions:

  1. Where is the ‘gap’ in your relationship with God right now?
  2. If Jesus was to physically stand in front of you right now, how would you engage with Him?
  3. What is the transforming work God wants to do in your life today? How will you co-operate with Him in this?