The Call of Jesus to the Lonely and Dejected...
Are you a person who is lonely, unloved, dejected, living in shame, stuck in the mire, looking for hope, wanting someone - anyone to appreciate you for who you are? If so, please consider the following story of Zacchaeus’ encounter with Jesus. If not, then please consider it as a lesson in grace.
Zacchareus was a despised tax collector, working for the Roman government, during a time when Israel was an occupied land. He was hired by the Romans to collect taxes from his countrymen; often taking more than needed as profit to accommodate his own needs. Tax collectors were despised amongst their Jewish countrymen and looked upon as traitors. The very thought of being called a "tax collector" was an insult that ranked amongst the vilest of sinners and reprobates.
Tax collectors gathered amongst themselves (for they had no real friends) and were ostracized from any meaningful relationship within their community to include the Synagog or Temple Worship during that day. What is remarkable about this story as told within the Book of Luke was that Zacchaeus, not only was a tax collector but a leader of tax collectors... Luke 19 begins his story (I am using the Message Bible to purposely enrich the reader to this story)
Luke 19:4-10 (Message)
v1-4) Then Jesus entered and walked through Jericho. There was a man there, his name Zacchaeus, the head tax man and quite rich. He wanted desperately to see Jesus, but the crowd was in his way—he was a short man and couldn't see over the crowd. So he ran on ahead and climbed up in a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus when he came by.
v5-7) When Jesus got to the tree, he looked up and said, "Zacchaeus, hurry down. Today is my day to be a guest in your home." Zacchaeus scrambled out of the tree, hardly believing his good luck, delighted to take Jesus home with him. Everyone who saw the incident was indignant and grumbled, "What business does he have getting cozy with this crook?"
v8) Zacchaeus just stood there, a little stunned. He stammered apologetically, "Master, I will give away half my income to the poor—and if I'm caught cheating, I will pay four times the damages."
9-10) Jesus said, "Today is salvation day in this home! Here he is: Zacchaeus, son [Descendent] of Abraham! For the Son of Man came to find and restore the lost."
Notice that throughout the New Testament, Jesus never abandon the cries of the lost but actually seeks them out? Even when people are in over their head as a result of sin or are living in a manner whereby most would write them off as being lost. Jesus instead seeks them out, as he also did with the woman by the well (John 4:4-42). Jesus' desire is to save the lost from the muck and mire that holds them captive [literally Prisoners]. His desire is to take on their burden so they can become clean through his blood which he shed on Calvary. His desire for the person is that when he calls, that the lost will hear and run to him -- instead of running away. And during Jesus' time, the lost flocked to him in multitudes!!
The desire of Jesus is to reveal sin with kindness [Read John 4:16-18 carefully], to reveal within the heart of the hearer that help is needed, to offer forgiveness, to offer reconciliation, and to restore the soul to a narrow path of righteousness, while promising the Holy Spirit to guide and pave the way.
As a Minister of the Gospel [Good News] of Jesus Christ, my heart breaks for the lost, lonely, and dejected.
When I consider the craziness of politics, the warped views on morality, and the indifference of the church on the whole, all I see within my travels are many lonely people in need of hope and who are starving for love. Many are lost and are looking down paths that will only hurt them in the long run. This breaks my heart more than anything; for they understand the danger but will not stop long enough to consider the alternative. So, my prayers continue...
Regardless of your personal views, albeit ultra liberal or conservative, there is a great void of love (not lust disguised as love) but true love that traverses both time and difficulty. I created this music video for that reason. I was going to wait and post it Monday, but I felt in my heart to do so today. I pray that it will add a blessing to you.
Rescue: by Desperation Band (Video)
Feel free to share as the Lord leads you.
Blessings, Minister Peter