The Bible gives us some reasons why Jesus came from heaven to earth. In these next four Sundays leading up to Easter we are going to consider four of those reasons. Today we going to look at a very familiar story, one that is very popular with our children (Luke 19:1-10). In fact, most of them have sung the little song about the wee little man named, Zacchaeus, who because he was short, climbed up a sycamore tree so he could get a glimpse of Jesus over the crowd as He passed by. He not only saw Jesus, Jesus saw him!
Zacchaeus, who was a tax collector, welcomed Jesus into his home that day. The crowd complained that Jesus would be a guest in the house of a man who was a sinner. But Jesus went to the house of Zacchaeus precisely because he was a sinner. Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house.” But there was another very important reason why Jesus went to his house. Zacchaeus was a son of Abraham – he was a Jew. Jesus summed up His visit to the house of Zacchaeus with these familiar words, “for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” This language Jesus used to indicate the reason why He came to earth is best understood against the backdrop of Ezekiel 34 where God rebukes the leaders or shepherds of Israel, and describes Himself as Israel’s true shepherd. We read, for thus says the Lord GOD: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day” (Ezekiel 34:11-12). On the day Jesus visited Zacchaeus, He sought and saved one of the lost sheep of the house of Israel! That was His mission!
He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24).