We come to the end of our LOST series. We’ve learned that the lost are dead in sin, walking away from God and objects of God’s wrath. It’s a terrible picture of people who do not know Jesus… not just knowing about Jesus but really knowing him in an intimate, dynamic relationship. The thing that gets me is how Jesus related to the LOST. It would seem he does so in a completely different manner than many Christians do today.
Look at Luke 19:1-10. I’ve found these few more characteristics of LOSTness.
The LOST are outsiders.
Zacchaeus was a tax collector. Tax collectors extorted money from citizens by making a profit off regular taxing. Tax collectors were placed in the same category as prostitutes (Matt 21:32) and other sinners. It is often the case that lost people hide behind labels because it brings them security. But it is a false security that never really fulfills. This is why Zacchaeus is climbing a tree.
The LOST are open to Jesus.
Zacchaeus climbed a tree so he could see Jesus. He was interested in this man. Sinners were attracted to Jesus. In fact, Jesus spent lots of time with sinners. Sinners were different from society but they sensed Jesus was different too. Jesus was different because he really cared about people. He didn’t judge, condemn or label people. He just cared by listening to life stories and then offering acceptance pointing them towards real hope and forgiveness in God.
I also cannot help but think why no one in the crowd tried to speak with Zacchaeus. It would seem that lost people are interested in similar questions that Jesus followers have but Jesus followers are too often caught up with their own concerns than to reach out to others. Are any lost people attracted to you or I like they were to Jesus?
The LOST are one.
Jesus changed Zacchaeus’ life. Zacchaeus experienced so much of Jesus’ forgiveness that he wanted to share it with others. He did so by repaying those from whom he stole.
Zacchaeus was one conversation away from knowing Jesus, one decision from a change in his life to love God and love others. Christians must begin to have Jesus’ view for LOST people – “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (19:10).
Will you be the one difference in the life of a person that is LOST?