April 18 - Random Acts of Kindness
What happened in Jericho had great significance in the earthly mission of Jesus. After His encounter with Zacchaeus, the Lord summed up what He did as the chief purpose of His coming: “For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.” This was a two-part mission, to seek and then to save. If He did not go out and find the lost, the lost would not have been saved. He did something very extraordinary in Jericho that demonstrated “seeking” and “saving” the lost.
Jesus came to seek the lost, He became flesh and dwelled among man and became one of them. The Incarnation was Jesus stepping down to earth from His heavenly abode to live with mankind. To go is the first part of seeking the lost. If you are not there, how can you find the lost? Physical presence is the key. If you want to reach the poor, you have to become part of their lives by living among them. You cannot live in a luxury house in a upscale district and commute to where the poor people are. Jesus took the first step by coming down, setting us an example.
While on earth, Jesus used a variety of ways to reach out to the people around Him. In the case of Zacchaeus, Jesus did an act of random kindness. As a result of that, He gained access to his household, caused Zacchaeus to repent and do reparation for his wrongs and eventually brought salvation to the whole household. As a tax collector, Zacchaeus was despised by others because of his greed and oppression of the people by using his position. He was not welcomed in the community, people did not give him any respect. As an outcast, he was surprised at the attention Jesus had given him. Jesus not only called him by name, but also declared that He would go to his house. What an honor for a prophet or a holy man to go to the home of a sinner, this was totally unmerited and an act of random kindness.
Zacchaeus, through such kindness, began to examine himself, realized that he had done wrong all his life and repented. He bore the fruit of repentance by giving half of what he owned to the poor and by repaying fourfold what he had cheated. What a life change, what a transformation. Jesus declared wholeness and healing to the whole household. A random act of kindness to an individual not only changed the life of that individual but through him the entire household.
Random acts of kindness open the door for the lost to be found. Do not underestimate the power of a kind act to the undeserved. God uses such occasion to soften the hearts of individuals and through them, their respective families. When you go about doing your business today, consider giving random acts of kindness to others. Be a part of seeking and saving the lost.
Ps 56:1-8 Josh 16:1-18:28 Luke 19:1-27 Prov 13:11