Saturday, December 8, 2012

December 9, 2012

God sent the Seeking Savior to earth at Christmas!

When Jesus comes seeking He:

Knows what you hope and He knows where you hide AND He knows where you hurt:

"A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy", V. 2

Verse 2 gives two reasons why Zacchaeus was hurting:

1) He was a chief tax collector = traitor or sell out – which meant he was despised and an outcast.
The Romans knew better than to try to collect taxes from the Jews, so they recruited Jews to do the collecting for them among their own people. So it is easy to understand why a tax-collector was hated. Zacchaeus was and he knew it!
2) He was wealthy = he was a legal thief – that brought shame and loneliness

A Jew who agreed to collect taxes from his own people for the Romans was required to collect a certain percentage fo them but above that amount he could charge whatever he wanted above that amount. It was a lucrative business! In fact, it was sanctioned stealing!

Verse 7 shows an insight into how he was regarded by his neighbors – “sinner”
"All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
The fact is, he WAS a sinner. He was a greedy thief and everyone knew it.

No one wants to hurt. No one likes to hurt and while much of his pain was self-inflicted it was hard to live with.
I would imagine all of us were hurting when Jesus came seeking for us. And like Zacchaeus, most of our pain was self-inflicted but it was real and we needed some relief.

It is good to know that Jesus knows where each of us hurt when He comes to us. That is why He gave out the invitation:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Deep down pain - the pain in your heart and mind and spirit - doesn't just go away. It doesn't get better on its own. In fact, it normally gets worse for several reasons. One, we tend to nurse it and rehearse it which causes it to hurt more. Second, pain often prompts us to push Jesus away thus preventing Him from bringing the healing that only He can bring.

When Jesus came seeking for Zacchaeeus, He met Zach at the point of his pain.

Jesus is waiting - seeking - to meet you at the point of your pain.

Will you meet Jesus there this morning?