On the eve of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, he sought out a man in Jericho and invited himself into the man’s home! Luke includes Jesus’ encounter with Zacchaeus to teach us about Jesus’ ministry: the nature of his mission, the beneficiaries of his message, and the evidence of his salvation.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship: Psalm 145:8-13
Hymn 243: Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
Note: With this hymn we call upon God (the source of every blessing) to enable us to worship as we ought. The composer, Baptist pastor Robert Robinson, wove themes from the sermon text into the lyrics:
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wand’ring from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.
Hymn Insert Lord, ‘Tis Not That I Did Choose Thee
Notes: Josiah Conder’s hymn attributes our salvation to God’s gracious initiative, a theme reminiscent of Christ who came to seek and to save the lost (“Twas thy grace in Christ that called me”). He attributes our spiritual life to God’s grace that “taught my darkened heart and mind.” So we praise the Triune God for seeking and saving our lost and helpless souls.
Scripture Reading Ezekiel 34:1-24
Note: Jesus applied the language of this passage to his own ministry. God opposed the leaders of Israel whom he called false “shepherds.” He promised that He, himself, would become their only Shepherd and he would mediate care for his people through a descendant of King David.
Hymn 249 O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus!
Notes: In the sermon text, Jesus intervened in the life of the hopeless and helpless sinner. He sought us out and intervened in our lives to save us. This hymn is an exuberant expression of wonder and joy at this deep love Jesus lavishes on all who belong to him. It is never ending, never changing, and never exhausted.
Message: The Savior Who Seeks and Saves Sinners
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn 434: Our Great Savior
Notes: This reflective hymn explores the joy that comes from knowing Jesus. The final stanza expresses our faith in the One who has granted us forgiveness.
Jesus! I do fully trust Him,
More than all in Him I find,
He hath granted me forgiveness,
I am His, and He is mine.
Prayer Response: Eric Hicks
Benediction: John Miles