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Summary: Good news about Jesus Mission to rescue lost people illustrated by the story of Zacchaeus

Luke 19:1-10 Zacchaeus Basingstoke 9th March 2008


We often hear of exciting rescue missions about emergency services

It can be gripping TV drama as the story is retold – we experience the suspense and feel the relief as the victims are later interviewed expressing their thanks to their rescuers.

As we prepare for Easter and think about the Mission of Jesus, we find an equally gripping story, full of suspense and drama as the story unfolds.

You may have all sorts of ideas about Jesus’ mission

But for me Luke summed it up very clearly in 19v10

“For the Son of Man came to Seek and the Save the Lost”

Jesus mission involved many of the other things but first of all it was a rescue mission!

Reminds me of the story of Saving Private Ryan where 8 men who survived the bloody assault on Normandy were sent on a dangerous mission behind enemy lines to find and rescue Private James Ryan, whose 3 brothers were recently killed in combat. Private Ryan was to be rescued before he too was killed. The soldiers recruited to search for him, under the command of Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks), were understandably perturbed that their mission, seemed say that saving the life of one Private Ryan was worth risking the lives of 8 more soldiers.

It was a Spielberg story full of action and drama

Jesus mission is no less exciting - read the Gospels packed with action and drama

Not a story of a team saving one man, but of one man saving the whole world!

One man whose mission is to save every man woman and child from enemy hands

A mission in which we discover Jesus Christ as a real man

A mission where His courage and commitment never wavered

A mission that even meant giving up his own life on a cruel Roman Cross

So let’s look more closely at His mission…


“For the son of man came to seek….”

Did you notice as we read the story of Zacchaeus, jostling at the back of the crowd, as he was leaping from one leg to the other to see Jesus, that it all seems the other way round..

v3 says “Zacchaeus sought to see who Jesus was”

He was seeking Jesus. He’d no doubt heard stories of Jesus, his mind boggled at thought

• Just imagine, a man who can turn water into wine – how my cellar would be full of the finest wines for years to come.

• Just think – a man who paid his taxes from coins found in a fishes mouth – and think of the money I’d be able to save.

• Imagine a man who fed 5000 from one boy’s lunch I’d never go hungry.

• Wow! He healed the sick, even raised the dead! I could live for ever!

His curiosity urged him forward to see Jesus – but how can he do it? He’s too short!

The quick wit that made him his fortune soon found a way around it

He ran on ahead, seeing a tree climbed it – hid in leaves & had a great view

So imagine his reaction as Jesus passes and he hears his name being called

Zacchaeus Zacchaeus come down– surely must be someone else?

But no it’s me he’s calling – He’s calling me!

Zach nearly fell out of the tree in excitement! How does he know me?

Why bother with me with all these others round about?

While Zacchaeus was seeking out Jesus…the other side of the story is

“The Son of man came to seek.. Him!!!”

Jesus knew all about Zacch’s needs, his problems, lifestyle, wealth.

Knew all the unanswered questions, the loneliness and deep emptiness.

He’d worked for so much yet still unsatisfied and longing for more.

Long before it entered Zacch’s head to see Jesus, Jesus was seeking Zacch

You too may be looking for answers from God, for him to meet your needs,

Like Zacch you may be reasonably successful but like him feeling empty, lonely, unsatisfied - hungry for meaning hungry to be loved and accepted

Let me assure you, long before you started searching for God

He’s been searching you out – He’s been longing, looking for you!

“The Son of man came to seek..”

Jesus didn’t need to journey through Jericho to get from Galilee to Jerusalem

There were more direct routes – the road to Jericho was notorious for robbers!

But He deliberately chose to go that way to seek out a blind beggar (v18)

He chose to go that way to seek out this sinful lonely Tax Collector

We often miss the point that Jesus seeks us out

John 1 Phillip tells his friend Nathaniel “We have found the Messiah”

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