Now that we are coming to the last week of Jesus' life as told in Luke's gospel I'm going to slow down the pace of the readings as we walk through these last two weeks of Lent.
Reading: Luke 19.1-27
Scripture: For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. - Luke 19.10
Observations: Jesus' reputation preceded him in Jericho to the degree that crowds lined the streets as he was traveling through the town. I get the image of a parade where Jesus was riding on the celebrity float. Then there was this little guy, hated by his countrymen and ostracized from the Jewish community because he collected their taxes, kept a chunk of it for himself, and gave the rest of it to their Roman oppressors. No wonder they hated him!
So when Jesus, who was loved as much as he was hated, came to town, Zacchaeus climbed the tree in order to get a glimpse of him. Jesus saw him, knew his name (he was that notorious), and invited himself to Zacchaeus' home. The people gossiped about it, but Jesus proved that even undersized Napoleon-complexed people can have big hearts when they discover his love, acceptance and forgiveness.
Apply: I am always amazed how Jesus was able to love the difficult ones who are outcast from society. There is no one so lost that Jesus doesn't know their name. He specializes in lost sheep, lost coins, lost sons, and even lost tax collectors.
Pray: When I come across people who I think are unlovable and unredeemable, Lord, may I see below the surface someone who is lost and in need of Your love, acceptance and forgiveness.