The town happened to be Jericho and this particular individual happened to be a man named Zachaeus. Not only was he short but he was also very wealthy. But he was not happy. And he was determined to see Jesus and was not going to let anything stop him.
So he ran ahead of the crowd that had gathered along the street to greet Jesus as He passed and climbed up a Sycamore fig tree. As Jesus passed by the tree He looked up in the tree and called out, “Zachaeus.”
Can you imagine how you would have felt at that moment if you were in his sandals? There are hundreds and even thousands of people around and Jesus singles you out.
On top of that, Zachaeus is not a real popular guy. He’s wealthy but he is hated by most everyone. He had been dishonest and even criminal in his extortion of money from common people. And to hear this one, reported to be the Messiah, call out his name above everyone else probably made him feel about five inches tall instead of five feet tall.
Jesus continues, “Zachaeus, I want to go to your house today.” He couldn’t believe his ears. No doubt he was shocked.
But more than he, the people were shocked. They couldn’t believe their ears. This one who claims to be the Son of God is going to the house of a “sinner.” It was just beyond their comprehension.
As a result of Jesus taking time to eat with a sinner, Zachaeus became a believer. He was converted. And as a result of meeting the master he made an announcement.
(Lk. 19:8) “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
Then Jesus responded with, “Today salvation has come to this house.” But Jesus wasn’t finished. He used this occasion to announce, not just to Zachaeus, not just to the crowd, but to the world, why He even came to earth. He said, “The Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost.”
All of a sudden it made sense why He was eating with sinners. That’s why he came in the first place. In fact, on another occasion he explained his ministry mission with the words, (Mark 2:17) “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Now think about this for a minute. Jesus primary purpose for coming to earth was to seek and save the lost. The Bible also says about Jesus, “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Eph. 1:22-23 Take note of those two words; “head, body.” The head is Christ the Body is His church.
Then in another place the Bible records, “And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” Col. 1:18 Again there is “head, body” which refers to Christ and the Church.
So what we have here is the head/ body principle. Listen closely so you don’t miss it. What tells my body what to do? Does my body pursue one direction and my head another? Aren’t we all together on what we do?
The head/body principle is that what the head does the body does. The objective of the body is the same as that of the head. Isn’t that simple to understand? It’s simple enough for a child to understand. What the head wants and desires the body wants and desires also. What the head does the body does. They are together on what they desire and do.
So Christ is the head and we, the church, are His Body. If His mission was to seek and save lost people, what do you suppose is the mission of the church? Is it not the same? Don’t the head and body have the same mission?
But our mission is the same as Jesus’ was, seek and lead lost people to salvation. That’s the main thing. And the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. It’s true that Christ alone can save the world but Christ cannot save the world alone. He accomplishes it through those who answer his call to follow Him by pursuing the mission of seeking and saving lost people.
What are you currently doing to help lost people connect with Jesus? Anything?