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Grace Changes Everything (Luke 19:1-10)

Luke 19:1–10 - 1 He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. 3 Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. 4 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. 5 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.” 6 And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. 7 When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8 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.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” What does today’s passage say? In today's passage, Jesus entered Jericho where a chief tax collector named Zacchaeus lived (v. 1). Zacchaeus was very rich but he was also very short, so he climbed a tree to see Jesus pass by (vv. 2-4). When Jesus came to that place, He looked up and told Zacchaeus to come down immediately because He was going to stay at his house that day (v. 5). Though others complained about Jesus spending time with this notorious sinner (v. 7), Zacchaeus joyfully welcomed Him. In response to Jesus presence, Zacchaeus declared that he would give half his possessions to the poor and repay four times over any wrongs he had committed (v. 8). At this, Jesus declared salvation had come to Zacchaeus’ household because he had had been lost but now had become a repentant son of Abraham and Jesus mission was to seek and save the lost (vv. 9-10). How can I apply Luke 19:1-10 to my life? Our lives overflow with purpose, joy, and generosity when we wholeheartedly pursue relationship with Jesus. Though, in our sin, we all fall short of God’s standards, Christ actively seeks not just relationship but also friendship with us, meeting us right where we are. He looks beyond surface sins and flaws to the longing in each heart for grace, belonging and life to the full. Zacchaeus’ story illustrates eternal truths about the humble posture God desires and the lavish redemption He offers all who draw near. Though Zacchaeus was scorned for greedy actions as a tax collector, Jesus sought him out personally. Unexpected grace captivated Zacchaeus; welcoming Christ’s presence transformed his priorities and overflowed into blessing others. Still today Jesus pursues us, longing to flood our lives with indescribable joy and hope. As we walk with Him, our renewed desires emerge naturally through changed actions. But we can rest in the truth that nothing we do earns His grace. He invites us into a relationship with no strings attached. Here are some basic principles from this passage that we should apply to our lives:

  1. Jesus Desires Fellowship with Us (vv. 1-5): Though Zacchaeus was shunned for his sin, Jesus sought him out, desiring relationship. Despite our unworthiness, Christ actively pursues fellowship with us. When we respond to His invitation, He fills our lives with purpose and joy. Even when we feel undeserving like Zacchaeus, condemned by others or our own guilt, Jesus eagerly seeks us out for relationship. He looks beyond surface flaws to the ache in our hearts, seeing our longing for grace and belonging. Though holiness requires turning from sin, Christ offers forgiveness and fellowship with no strings attached. He invites us on a joy-filled adventure of knowing Him more as we walk together. As Zacchaeus discovered, welcoming Jesus' presence transforms everything. When we say yes to friendship with Him, our lives overflow with freedom, meaning and indestructible hope. No matter your past, Jesus actively pursues you. Will you open your heart to encounter His extravagant grace today (Psalm 16:11, Luke 15:1-2, John 10:10)?

Food for thought: Is busyness or shame holding you back from wholeheartedly pursuing Christ? What needs to shift to fling wide the gates for more of Him?

  1. We Should Respond to Jesus Promptly, With Joy, and With Generosity (vv. 6-8): Though scorned by his community, when Zacchaeus encountered Jesus' grace, he promptly welcomed Christ and was overjoyed. His response is a great model for us.  It was eager, immediate and he embraced the love of Christ.  His heart was transformed, and he was compelled to act – to want to make things right with others that he may have wronged in the past.  We should respond the same way to Jesus’ presence in our lives, whether it be in our quiet moments with Him or even when He feels like He is far away and our circumstances are dire: we should respond immediately and joyfully. Like Zacchaeus, prompt obedience to His call along with uncompromising commitment delights His heart. As Christ floods our lives with joy, we can't help but overflow with generosity - both to make things right from our past and bless others now. Our transformed lives will point people to the Savior (Psalm 16:11, Acts 20:35, Romans 12:1-2).

Food for thought: Is your devotion to Jesus lukewarm or half-hearted? What lifestyle changes might help you promptly say yes to His call with fresh surrender and joy?

  1. Our Actions Do Not Save Us but They Are Evidence of Our Salvation (vv. 9-10): Jesus proclaimed that salvation had come to Zacchaeus' house, and this highlights a key aspect of our own salvation.  Our actions, like Zaccheus’ willingness to make whole those he had wronged before knowing Jesus, don’t save us but they are certainly evidence of a transforming relationship based on faith in Christ. Our salvation is a gift from God, born out of His grace through our faith.  If it was to be earned, we would most certainly boast and be prideful about it.  But when we are genuinely saved by His grace and mercy, we will naturally want to live lives that honor Him – lives filled with the good works He wants us to do. As you walk with Him, pray for eyes to see your identity as His beloved child. Let relationship guide your rhythm, not just doing for Him. Delight in Christ's friendship that infuses daily life with meaning, not lists of expectations (Ephesians 2:8-10, Galatians 5:1, John 15:14-15).

Food for thought: Do you view God's love as unconditional, or something to earn by trying harder? How might grasping grace more fully bring freedom and rest? As we saw through Zacchaeus’ story, Jesus actively pursues each of us, longing to bind up sin’s wounds with tender redemption. Despite where we’ve been or what others think, God’s grace is sufficient to restore our lives with purpose and joy when we walk closely with Him. No matter your past, Jesus invites you into a grace-filled life of knowing Him more each day. Welcoming more of Christ’s presence in your life transforms everything. Joining Jesus on His mission to seek and save the lost infuses daily stresses with eternal significance too. As we encounter God’s extravagant kindness, our hearts should overflow with praise and generosity and our lives should point people to the Savior who gave everything to rescue us! Let’s humbly surrender to His leadership with fresh anticipation of all He wants to do through our willing hearts. Prayer Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that You would fill me with childlike humility, wonder and hunger in pursuing relationship with You. Captivate me by Your extravagant grace and kindness that surpasses anything I deserve. As I walk with You each day, produce in me a testimony of redemption that overflows with generosity, points people to the Savior, and brings You glory. I pray that You would make me fruitful for Your kingdom priorities however You choose. Use me to seek and save the lost, pouring Your lavish love into broken lives. I surrender my plans to Yours; have Your way in my life. Thank You for meeting me where I am but loving me too much to leave me there. Do whatever it takes to lead me deeper into surrender and closer friendship with You. I pray these things in the most precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Luke 19:10 - “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” With His Blessings, Pastor Corby

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