10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
In the eyes of the religious Zacchaeus, a tax collector, was a sinner, but not just a sinner, a sinner to be numbered among the lowest of the low, to be numbered among the prostitutes and the outcasts. Tax collectors in those days were hated and reviled because the extorted money from the people with the blessing and the authority of Rome behind them. They made themselves rich off the backs of the poor. These tax collectors were in fact sinners, but not because they collected taxes, but because they abused the system for their gain, because they did not follow the commands of the law to love their neighbor. They coveted, they stole, they lied and they cheated. They broke the commandments of God and made money and riches their idol. But Zacchaeus is just like you and me. He was a man, a sinner, in need of a savior. He was a man steeped in the sinfulness of his sin, in fact we might imagine him like the publican who was beating his chest asking for God’s mercy. Maybe at night when he was all alone he felt the weight of his sin, but found no relief from the religious Pharisees on how to be absolved. So Jesus sought out Zacchaeus and found him in a tree. Jesus sought out you and me as well, that’s why we have come to faith in him. It was not because we decided for Jesus, no we came to faith because our savior was looking for us, he was looking for the lost, he was looking for sinners, and he found me and he found you and in his grace and mercy he granted to us faith to believe and the gift of repentance to turn to him. Oh how wonderful it is to know that we have a savior that was seeking and saving the lost, otherwise none of us would be saved. Hallelujah, what a savior!