Saturday, 10 August 2013

Search and Rescue

Search and Rescueis the search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger.

The general field of search and rescue includes many specialty sub-fields, typically determined by the type of terrain the search is conducted over. These include Mountain rescue; ground search and rescue, including the use of search and rescue dogs; urban search and rescue in cities; combat on the battlefield and air-sea rescue over water.

Matthew 1:21  She will have a son, and you will name him Jesus---because he will save his people from their sins." (GNB)
Matteus 1:21  Sy sal aan ‘n Seun geboorte gee, en jy moet Hom Jesus noem, want Hy sal die volk van hul sondes verlos. (NLV)

Luke 19:1- 10
Jesus went on into Jericho and was passing through.
There was a chief tax collector there named Zacchaeus, who was rich.
He was trying to see who Jesus was, but he was a little man and could not see Jesus because of the crowd.
So he ran ahead of the crowd and climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus, who was going to pass that way.
When Jesus came to that place, he looked up and said to Zacchaeus, "Hurry down, Zacchaeus, because I must stay in your house today."
Zacchaeus hurried down and welcomed him with great joy.
All the people who saw it started grumbling, "This man has gone as a guest to the home of a sinner!"
Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Listen, sir! I will give half my belongings to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will pay back four times as much."
Jesus said to him, "Salvation has come to this house today, for this man, also, is a descendant of Abraham.
The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." (GNB)

Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector; a position referred to only in the Bible, probably designating one in charge of a district, with other tax collectors under him.  The region was prosperous at the time, so Zacchaeus became very rich.

Tax collectors were not very loved by the community.  Being a tax collector was like having social leprosy.  No one wanted to be near you.  Why?  Because being a tax collector you had to do some really crooked negotiating.  You had to betray your own people.  You had an obligation to the authorities to pay over a certain amount, but what you actually charged the community, was up to you.  Everyone was well aware of what these tax collectors were doing, especially Zacchaeus, so it’s a little easier to understand why he was hated so much.

Zacchaeus had one other obstacle; he was very short, almost like a man trapped in a boy’s body.  This made him look very odd.  People stared at him and made fun of him.  I’m sure he was often the brunt of cruel jokes.

Everyone in Jericho has heard about Jesus of Nazareth.  Some said he was a prophet, others said he was a good teacher, and others said he was a wonderful healer.  Jesus had claimed that He was the Son of God – the long awaited Messiah.

So on this particular day when Jesus was scheduled to go through town, hundreds of people rushed to the streets to catch a glimpse of Him, and to possibly make up their own minds of who He really was.  You can just imagine the excitement, the anticipation, the tension in the air.

Zacchaeus also wanted a glimpse of Jesus.  He, like everybody else, was anxiously awaiting the promised Messiah.  Running towards the main road, trying to push through all these people, he realised that he would not be able to get through the crowds, let alone see Jesus.  Spotting a sycamore-fig tree –he proceeded to climb it, to catch a glimpse of the man from Galilee. A sycamore tree is a sturdy tree from 30 to 40 feet high, with a short trunk and spreading branches, capable of holding a grown man.

This must have been quite the sight!  An adult man climbing a tree?  Must’ve been pretty embarrassing!  The important thing to realise here is that Zacchaeus was so desperate to have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ that he was willing to look like a fool for it!  This is quite an admirable attitude – God desires to develop the same attitude in us.  He wants us to want Jesus so badly, that we would be willing to do anything to have a personal encounter with him.

Zacchaeus was a dishonest, and he was known for taking advantage of others.  He had swindled people out of their hard-earned money.  He was easy to dislike.

But we can learn a few things from his life:

·         He had the right attitude:  he so desperately wanted a personal encounter with Jesus that he would go to great lengths to make it happen.  He was determined!  How determined are you to get as close as possible to Jesus?
·         He was aware of his shortcomings and did something about them:  When he realized that he was too short to see Jesus, he could’ve given up.  He was aware of his limitations, but he refused to let them stop him from doing something important.  Do you find it easy to rationalize your areas of weaknesses?  God wants you to be aware of your weak areas – and instead of rationalizing them away, he wants you to do something about it.
·         He heard the call of Jesus:  The Bible tells us in verse 5 that when Jesus walked by the tree in which Zacchaeus was sitting, he stopped, looked up, and called him by name.  He heard Jesus call him.  Think of all the noise around him, with the hundreds of people standing around trying to get to Jesus first.  Yet when Jesus spoke his name, he heard and responded.  God wants you to learn the sound of His voice so you can be constantly tuned in.
·         He took Jesus home:  We can go to church with Jesus, we talk about Him with our Christian friends, but are we willing to take Him home?  Are we willing to allow him inside the very private areas of our lives?  Zacchaeus knew that once Jesus entered his home, there would be no hiding.  Everything about Zacchaeus would be out in the open for Christ to see.  His closets, his office, his receipts – proof of his crooked business dealings – things he had hoped nobody would ever be able to find out about him – Zacchaeus allowed Jesus full access.

God wants full access to your home.  He wants to invade every area of your life with love and with truth.  Jesus loved Zacchaeus too much to allow him to stay trapped in deceit and hypocrisy.  And Jesus loves you too much to allow things to stay the same in your home.

When you invite Jesus into the inner depths of your being, He’ll make the necessary changes.  Are you willing to allow him the freedom to do that?

If you were the only one in the entire world, He still would have chosen to suffer the horrendous death it took to pay for your sins.  He has chosen you, he calls you by name, and he goes against the flow for you.  He looks beyond what others say about you and chooses to see your highest potential.

Luke 5:31-32 :
Jesus answered them, "People who are well do not need a doctor, but only those who are sick.
I have not come to call respectable people to repent, but outcasts."

John 10:3  The gatekeeper opens the gate for him; the sheep hear his voice as he calls his own sheep by name, and he leads them out.

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