ODB: Found on the Edges

June 6, 2020

READ: Luke 19:1–10 

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10

In the middle of the crowd at a motorcycle demonstration where riders performed breathtaking tricks, I found myself needing to stand on my tiptoes to see. Glancing around, I noticed three children perched in a nearby tree, apparently because they also couldn’t get to the front of the crowd to see the action. 

Watching the kids peer out from their lofty location, I couldn’t help but think of Zacchaeus, who Luke identifies as a wealthy tax collector (Luke 19:2). Jews often viewed tax collectors as traitors for working for the Roman government collecting taxes from fellow Israelites, as well as frequently demanding additional money to pad their personal bank accounts. So Zacchaeus was likely shunned from his community. 

As Jesus passed through Jericho, Zacchaeus longed to see Him but was unable to see over the crowd. So, perhaps feeling both desperate and lonely, he climbed into a sycamore tree to catch a glimpse (vv. 3–4). And it was there, on the outskirts of the crowd, that Jesus searched him out and announced His intention to be a guest at his home (v. 5). 

Zacchaeus’ story reminds us that Jesus came to “seek and to save the lost,” offering His friendship and the gift of salvation (vv. 9–10). Even if we feel on the edges of our communities, pushed to the “back of the crowd,” we can be assured that, even there, Jesus finds us.

— Lisa M. Samra

How have you experienced feelings of being pushed aside by friends or family? In the midst of loneliness, how has Jesus found you and invited you to spend time with Him?

Jesus, thank You for never simply walking by when I’m hurting but stopping to invite me into friendship with You.

Source: Our Daily Bread