When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”
Luke 19:10

Reading: Mark 2:13-17; Luke 19:1-10

There was one amongst the lost sheep of Israel who was perhaps more lost than most, further away from the will and ways of God than most. His name was Zacchaeus. He had not only betrayed his God, but his own people, when he decided to work for the oppressive Romans and enrich himself by exhorting unjust taxes from his own people. He was hated by by his fellow Israelites. 

Who are ‘the lost’? Those who have lost their way. It does not matter what kind of start they might have had, somewhere along the way they lost sight of their purpose. Or perhaps they never knew they had a purpose. And so, like Zacchaeus, they bought into an ignoble purpose and allowed themselves to be degraded by it. 

If one wants to build on a foundation one must know that it exists. Then one must know that the foundation is solid and that it can take the weight of the structure that will be built upon it. When Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth his primary purpose was to show us that he could be depended upon, that when he spoke one could believe what he said. 

When he went to Zacchaeus’ house and dined with him Jesus was demonstrating that no life was irredeemable. Jesus was in fact pointing the way to a life which when centred on him would reflect the eternal purpose that God had designed for every man. When Jesus sat down at Zacchaeus’ table, Zacchaeus realised in an instant what the purpose of his life was. He knew that from that moment forward his life was tied to that of Jesus. 

What happened when Jesus looked up and saw you, lost, sinful and purposeless? What happened when Jesus came to dine with you and sit and your table and befriend you? Oh, what a red letter day that was. Rejoice that this is not just Zacchaeus’s story, but yours too. 


Dear God, help me to refocus, to see again the great purpose You have given me in life. 

For the family

Play a game of hide ‘n seek together. Then watch this video and explain the study in an age-appropriate way. 

Jesus and Zacchaeus