We Have To Look Up And See

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Yesterday in our devotional, God led us to see how when Zacchaeus goes against the odds to seek and see Jesus, Jesus draws near to Zacchaeus and comes to dwell in his house.

Today, as we look further into this passage in Luke chapter 19 about Zacchaeus’ encounter with Jesus, God wants to draw our attention to Jesus and His works.

Luke 19:1 NKJV tells us, “Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.” Jericho is not His final destination, He is on His way to Jerusalem. It is here while Jesus is traveling to where He intends to, that He looks up on a tree and sees Zacchaeus who is up there quietly hoping to see Jesus.

All of us are walking through life, going about our daily business of going to work or school, of taking care of our family, pursuing our aspirations, serving God and building His Kingdom. Along the way, while we are in the middle of it all, God wants us to look up from our circumstances, so that we will see the people who need Jesus.

Zacchaeus is a chief tax collector, and I am thinking, whether up on a tree or on the streets, people look at him as a corrupt traitor who works for the Romans. But when Jesus looks up and sees Zacchaeus on the tree, He says to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” Luke 19:5 NKJV

When Jesus sees Zacchaeus, He sees beyond his physical stature and status. Jesus looks right into his heart and soul, and sees his spiritual thirst and need. Jesus makes no delay but calls for Zacchaeus to come down from the tree immediately. Jesus does not consider if Zacchaeus will reject Him or what the crowd will think, but says that He must stay at Zacchaeus’ house on that day.

Jesus unapologetically reaches out to Zacchaeus willingly and lovingly. This must have surprised and touched Zacchaues deeply for we read in Luke 19:6 that at the Words of Jesus, Zacchaeus comes down from the tree immediately and receives Him joyfully.

When Jesus comes to stay at Zacchaeus’ house, when Zacchaeus personally encounters Jesus’ presence, something beautiful and amazing takes place.

Luke 19:8-10 NKJV
8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham;
10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which has been lost.”

In the holy presence of Jesus, Zacchaeus begins to call out to Him as ‘Lord’. In the holy presence of Jesus, Zacchaeus begins to repent and commits to make right the wrongdoings of the past. To this, Jesus declares that salvation has come not just to Zacchaeus, but to his house – his family and his generations to come.

If Jesus had been interested only in journeying to his final destination and had not looked up to see Zacchaeus, this beautiful salvation story would not have taken place. But Jesus, He goes about every moment of His earthly ministry to fulfill what He has come to do – “to seek and save that which has been lost.”

Today, Jesus is still seeking and saving that which has been lost – through you and me. We need to lift up our eyes with God’s love and look around us, and we will surely see many people like Zacchaeus who are in need of Jesus. Then, we must pause a moment from what we may be doing, to receive and welcome these people by extending our hospitality and friendship. We must represent God’s love and grace to them so that they come to experience for themselves the holy presence of our Lord Jesus. Then, in the light of His presence, they will begin to have a transformed heart and life.

Jesus says in John 4:35 NET,
“…I tell you, look up and see that the fields are already white for harvest!”

I pray that we look up and see and seize the harvest of souls every day as we journey through this life that God has given us.

Let us pray.

“Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your amazing grace that has reached out to me and saved my soul. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to come and seek and save the lost that we may all have the abundant and everlasting life in Him. Lord Jesus, teach me to always lift up my eyes to see the lost and broken who need Your love and healing. Use me, Lord, to invite and lead these people into Your loving embrace and to receive Your salvation. May my life of love and compassion be a resounding testimony that leads many to glorify our Father in Heaven. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”

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