The Son Of Man - Came To Seek & Save The Lost.”
Good Evening everyone.! Welcome.!
Bro. David gave us an introduction to the theme --- 'The Son of Man', Jesus (can forgive sins) two weeks ago, ---followed by Sis Marion last week on The Son of Man .(.a Servant,) and I'd like to follow up today with a look at
The 'Son of Man' who came to seek and to save the lost.
I'm sure that most if not all of us here, have read, or heard of the story in the Bible of the incident in the life of Jesus regarding Zaccheus the tax collector,recorded in LUKE 19: 1-10
Jesus was walking along in Jericho with many people around Him and people lining the street where he was expected to travel. Zacchaeus wanted to see this Jesus that he had heard about and climbed a tree along Jesus' route to get an unrestricted view!
But let's take a closer look at this well known story in Luke 19:1-10
(The actual words in your Bible -Page......)
Luke 19:1-10 He entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way.
When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”
Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.”
And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Jesus referring to Himself as 'the Son of Man' tells the crowd and us through Luke's writings, that His job description is 'Saviour of the lost!'
That word 'lost' sums up the state of all of us initially and today refers to anyone who has not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
And God telegraphed the message ahead of time in the Old Testament dispensation. Through Ezekiel He prophesied that as a Good Shepherd does, He would look for and save the lost.
Ezekiel 34:12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.
Here God announces that He will rescue His scattered and lost sheep and look after them with care.
This Jesus did. As the Good Shepherd He did not lose any of the sheep that God gave Him.
(Only Judas, who was never His and who saw Jesus as Rabbi but not as Lord. Even in that is a lesson for us today; that those who see Jesus as a good teacher but who do not see Him as Lord are not saved, at least not yet. They can be though - provided they change!)
Let's now look at another reference in the New Testament to the Son of man in His saving role.
In Matthew 18:6 and verses 10-11, Jesus tells us not to despise those who come to Him with child-like innocence. He will save those who are lost and if they become lost because someone mistreated them, then according to Christ it would be better for that person if they had not been born!
Matthew 18:6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a large millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned at the bottom of the sea.
Matthew 18:10-11 “See to it that you do not despise one of these little ones, because I tell you, their angels in heaven always have access to my Father in heaven. For the Son of Man came to save the lost.
Jesus is especially on guard so that none of His little ones, age-wise or understanding-wise, be damaged and lost because of what the Americans call “friendly fire”. He hates it and those doing it will face a strong Judge before them in the end time!
Jesus, the Son of Man, is jealous for His people and protects us against all who would do us harm.....called by the title “ Good Shepherd “is that as He seeks out the lost if one of us goes astray He will come for us and bring us back to the fold. We can all look at the example He gave us in Luke 15: verses 4-6.
Luke 15:4-6 "What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? "When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. "And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'
What a good God we have -Yes,one who is good all the time!
We can be grateful for this and rest in Him, knowing that all those who have made Him Lord He will keep safe, until we inherit everlasting joy in
the kingdom of God.
Now consider Zaccheus
in our actual Bible Reading,tonight.....We note-
Dr. Luke writes the facts,but more so he writes the truth!
Jesus is bound for Jerusalem,and on his way,comes to the city of Jericho....known as “the city of Palms”,lying deep in the Jordan Valley. Nearly half of Israel's Priests live here,and no doubt all and sundry are clambering to see Him, and to hear Him speak as he journeys forward to Jerusalem only approximately 16 to 17 miles away,before He enters Jerusalem.
The Chief Tax Collector in Jericho is Zaccheus. He taxes the Jews on behalf of the Romans and is extremely unpopular. He takes money from
his fellow Jews to help pay for the Roman occupation in their country.
He also makes a fortune by charging more tax than is necessary and keeping the excess for himself.
Zacchaeus wants to see Jesus. No doubt he has heard that Jesus is friendly to people like him,whom everyone else rejects and excludes as a sinner.
There is a large crowd lining the road,and Zaccheus is a short man and too proud to ask to be allowed to the front,and too unpopular to be invited. But he is cunning. He runs ahead of the crowd and climbs a sycamore-fig tree....
The sycamore- fig tree is a large tree with wide, low branches. From here Zaccheus hopes to see Jesus without being seen-but he is wrong. When Jesus comes to the place He stops, looks up and invites Himself to the Tax man's house for dinner! Zacchaeus is delighted..
HERE IS THE GOSPEL IN ACTION! Jesus comes to Zacchaeus, like a shepherd to a lost sheep!
HE FINDS HIM...
HELPS HIM TO DISCOVER A NEW LIFE!........
OUR POINT OF NEED IS THE SON OF MAN's POINT OF SALVATION!
The righteous residents of Jericho condemn Jesus for keeping bad company. But Jesus has said before that he is like a Doctor who must mix with the sick in order to heal them (Luke 5 :31-32)
Zaccheus is a changed man. He immediately gives half his goods to the poor and promises to repay all the money he has stolen. The Law requires him to add an extra 20 per cent (Leviticus6:5)--- But Zaccheus tops it up with an extravagant pledge to repay four times over. HE IS CURED OF GREED !,as the blind man was from darkness!
Jesus declared that Zaccheus is SAVED!
The greedy tax collector,so at odds with his neighbors, has come home to the love and forgiveness of Jesus.
HE IS A TRUE SON OF ABRAHAM NOWnot by RACE.but by FAITH
so Zaccheus is proving his new life by his deeds. This is exactly what the messiah,Jesus, THE SON OF MAN, has come to do!
BUT, My Sisters,......and brothers all we have heard tonight is so g- o o d
yet there is more -there is the grand finale...
When Jesus spoke when on earth, the world was about to enter a period of Gentile Power. This had been foretold in the book of Daniel.(Daniel 12?7) The calling to God's people would( pass) proceed from the nation of Israel to the Worldwide Christian Church! Although an age of stress,fear,and cosmic upheaval,and in the end all the powers of heaven and earth will be shaken... BUT THEN.......
THE SON OF MAN WILL APPEAR !!!! coming the cloud of God's glory to judge the world....and......SAVE HIS PEOPLE! Yes my sisters and brothers- YOU and I!
(ever since the death and resurrection of Jesus,the world has been living in its final stage. It is an age of both turmoil and hope. For Christians,it is a time for purity,self control,prayer,and expectancy. my sisters and brothers when things are at their worst,,,,, look for the SON OF Man's RETURN!
GOD sent Jesus to seek & save the lost!