The Seeking Savior (Luke 19:10)
[For] the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. –Luke 19:10
Luke 19:10 caps off the story of Zacchaeus. When we think of Zacchaeus, often what comes to mind is his pursuit of Jesus. He is resourceful and creative, running ahead and making his way up into a tree as Jesus passes by. He overcomes a difficult crowd and his short physical stature in order to see Jesus. Zacchaeus is seeking. Indeed, the Lord commands all people to seek Him (Amos 5:6; Isaiah 55:6; Acts 17:26-27) and Zacchaeus is a wonderful example of this.
However, there is an ironic turn in Zacchaeus’ story. Zacchaeus was also the one being sought. And it is only because Jesus was seeking him that Zacchaeus was able to seek and find Jesus. Luke 19:5 says, “And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.’”
Can you imagine what Zacchaeus must have thought at that moment? He had gone to find out who Jesus was, and what he discovered was that Jesus already knew him by name. More than this, Jesus had already determined to stay at his house. Jesus says, I must stay at your house today. It’s already decided—as if he’s saying, “I have been seeking you, Zacchaeus. Come down from the tree, and seek me no more.”
Indeed, Jesus goes to Zacchaeus’ house and Zacchaeus experiences Jesus’ transforming grace. He is freed from his falsehood and greed, and Jesus declares that salvation has come to his house. Salvation came because (for) Jesus had come to seek and to save this lost sinner (19:10). This is the most foundational reason for Zacchaeus’ salvation: not that he was seeking Jesus, but that Jesus was personally seeking him.
Wonderfully, Jesus declares in Luke 19:10 that this is not a unique, one-time occurrence. To seek out the lost is the very purpose for which Jesus came. And Jesus continues seeking people today, that we might know and trust Him for the salvation that has been provided through His own death and resurrection for our sins. Will you hear His call and respond in joy and faith like Zacchaeus? If so, He will forgive and transform you by His saving grace. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
Can you look back and see ways that Christ has personally sought you so that you might know and trust Him?
What does Jesus’ death and resurrection prove about His willingness to save the lost?
How is a person’s life transformed when he or she is “found” by Jesus?
John Kimbell is Pastor of Preaching at Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville, KY, where he has been serving since 2008. He completed his M.Div. and Ph.D. at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. John was introduced to regular Scripture memory through the Fighter Verses memory program at Bethlehem Baptist Church while attending college in Minnesota. John is married to Sarah and they have six children and one son-in-law.