For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost
I read it last Christmas in our local paper: an Associated Press article by Eric Gorski entitled “GPS keeps track on Baby Jesus.” It seems that in December 2007, Baby Jesus disappeared from a nativity scene on the lawn of the Wellington, Florida, community center. But local police didn’t have to follow a star to find him. A GPS device was mounted inside the life-size ceramic figurine, and that GPS led deputies to a nearby apartment where the figure was found face down in the carpet. And 18-year-old woman was arrested in the theft.
Maybe you’re like me and didn’t realize how often people pilfer Jesus from home or city nativity displays. It’s a regular crime wave every December. And when Jesus gets kidnapped, where do you even begin to look. Well, GPS has apparently solved that problem, and it certainly discourages would-be criminals or mischief-makers from their dirty deed. A thief may be able to hide a stolen Jesus-figure from our eyes, but he can’t hide him from the GPS eye in the sky.
This got me thinking about how we often make Christmas about looking for Jesus—“Wise men still seek Him,” and all that. While there’s certainly some truth to this, while it is important to seek Jesus in this holy season, Christmas is really more about Jesus seeking us. Take taxman Zacchaeus, for example. “Yes, please!” the citizens of Jericho would say. Zacchaeus and those who worked for him abused these people through the tax system. And this abuse had made Zacchaeus a rich man. No wonder he was perhaps Jericho’s most despised citizen. Yet this same Zacchaeus sort of got grace in his face when Jesus came looking for him. Jesus found him in Jericho. Jesus invited himself over for lunch at Zacchaeus’ home. And before they had finished their chocolate mousse that old tax-collecting cheat had a change of heart and a change of life. And this was no conversion in a some quiet corner so he could take it back if he changed his mind. No, this was public. Zacchaeus announced to Jesus and everyone else at the table, “As of today, I’m a changed man. I’m going to become a giver instead of a taker. I’m going to give half of everything I have to the poor, and if I’ve cheated anyone, I’ll give him four times what I took.”
Jesus was thrilled. “Today salvation has come to this house,” Jesus said, “for the Son of Man (that’s Jesus) came to seek and to save what was lost.” Jesus loved Zacchaeus; Jesus found Zacchaeus; Jesus saved Zacchaeus. And He didn’t even need GPS to do it.
Maybe this Christmas Jesus is seeking you. Maybe that’s why you “happened” upon this blog. Just know that Jesus can find you wherever you are. And He doesn't need a GPS either. He can find you because He is God. He knows who you are and where you are and what’s what with your life. He is relentlessly pursuing you for your good and for your salvation because He loves you like no one else has loved you or can love you. And the best thing you can do in response is surrender to His grace, be found, be saved, be changed. Trust me: that’s one Christmas gift you won’t ever want to return.