Take part in TGC’s Read the Bible initiative, where we’re encouraging Christians and churches to read together through God’s Word in a year.
Does God care about me?
Almost everyone asks this question. I know I have. As a child (and as an adult too), I remember feeling like God only cares about the big and the important, the worthy and the good. I knew that wasn’t the case—or I knew I was supposed to know that wasn’t the case. But I’ve felt unworthy, not good enough. And sometimes other people have told me as much.
The Bible tells a different story to the one told by your fears and feelings. Here’s the true story: God cares about you.
No matter our circumstances, Jesus came to find and save the lost. Luke 19 teaches us this through the story of Zacchaeus. It’s the story of all who are lost and found.
Jesus Comes to Zacchaeus
Jesus says to Zacchaeus, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
Zacchaeus is mainly remembered for being short and a hated tax collector who climbed a sycamore tree. It’s easy to think of him as a silly little man. But he wasn’t. He was little, but he was rich and powerful. If he wanted something to happen in Jericho, it would happen. He was an ends-justify-the-means sort of guy, and people hated him. I’m sure you can supply your own example of someone like him.
This rich, powerful man climbed a tree. In his fancy clothes. In front of those people who hated him. In front of all those people he’d hurt. I don’t imagine he climbed the tree very gracefully or skillfully. He looked ridiculous. People laughed at him.
Why did Zacchaeus make a fool of himself?
He was asking the question we all ask: Does God care about me?
Why did Zacchaeus make a fool of himself? He was asking the question we all ask: Does God care about me?
Zacchaeus felt unworthy, not good enough. And frankly, he was unworthy—he took what didn’t belong to him and hurt others for his own benefit. But now he just wanted to see Jesus.
Jesus didn’t leave him in that tree. It wasn’t enough for Zacchaeus to find and see Jesus. Jesus wanted to find Zacchaeus. Jesus strode through the crowd of people who were laughing at Zacchaeus, walked right up to him, and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today” (Luke 19:5).
We’re Lost Sheep
Who are the lost? It’s easy for me to make a list of lost people that doesn’t include myself, my loved ones, or people I look up to. It’s easy to make a list of Zacchaeuses—people I don’t like. But that’s not very honest, is it? The crowd called Zacchaeus “a man who is a sinner” (Luke 19:7). But if Jesus had dined at the house of any in the crowd, wouldn’t he still be the guest of a sinner?
The Zacchaeuses, the Sauls, the thieves on the cross—we all know they’re lost. But not all the lost look very lost. What about the Virgin Mary? John the Baptist? The apostle Peter?
There are times we all feel lost. We feel like Zacchaeus. We don’t think there’s a hope of being found. There are other times we don’t think we’re lost at all. We’ve got things together, and we’re doing all right. We’re proper saints like Mary, John, and Peter. But despite our feelings and appearances, the hard truth is we’re all lost: “All we like sheep have gone astray” (Isa. 53:6).
Jesus Comes to You
To seek and save the lost, Jesus did some truly mind-boggling things.
God, who made heaven and earth, was born a baby.
God, who made heaven and earth, suffered on the cross and died.
God, who made heaven and earth, rose again from the dead.
God cares that we’re lost. No matter our situation, he seeks and saves. He’s seeking you.
God cares that we’re lost. No matter the situation we find ourselves in, he seeks and saves.
Maybe you’re like Mary—you believe Jesus’s words. Jesus came to find and save! Will you believe?
Maybe you’re like John the Baptist—you proclaim Jesus’s words. Jesus came to find and save! Will you believe?
Maybe you’re like Zacchaeus—you don’t care what others think but just want to see Jesus. Jesus came to find and save! Will you believe?
Maybe you’re like Thomas—you’ve doubted Jesus. Jesus came to find and save! Will you believe?
Maybe you’re like Peter—you’ve denied Jesus in the past. Jesus came to find and save! Will you believe?
That’s the message of the gospel. As Jesus says, “Today salvation has come to this house” (Luke 19:9). Jesus’s word of salvation has come to you. Will you believe?