Luke 19:10 (KJV)

For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save
that which was lost.

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Bible Commentary

Luke 19:10 is a Bible verse in the New Testament where Jesus announces His mission, the purpose of His work here on earth.

There were many in His day who had heard of Jesus. News of His powerful ministry spread rapidly, for He had great wisdom, like nothing people had ever heard. He healed the sick and cast out demons.

Zacchaeus had also heard of Jesus and wanted to know more. It says in Luke 19:2 that Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector and he was rich. It was known in those days that tax collectors were thieves, charging people more than what they actually owed, and profiting from it themselves.


Not only was Zacchaeus a tax collector, but he was a chief tax collector. He was a thief among thieves and with great wealth. When Jesus came through the area, Zacchaeus hurried up into a tree, so he could get a good look at Jesus. Luke 19:3 (KJV) says “he sought to see Jesus.”

It is very important to note the Greek meanings of “sought”: worship, desire, seek (after, for, means).  When Jesus came to the spot where Zacchaeus was, verse 5 says, “He looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”

Zacchaeus must have been very excited because verse 6 says “he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.” Interestingly, he also told Jesus, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor, and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.” (verse 8).

Now, Jesus had not confronted Zacchaeus about his tax collecting practices, so why did Zacchaeus open up and confess?

Unlocking the Truth -  Salvation

Look again at the meaning of “sought”: worship, desire, seek after. Zacchaeus was looking for Jesus because he desired something. Webster’s dictionary defines “worship” as: an intense love or admiration.

  • There was something about Jesus that drew him in.
  • There was something exciting about Jesus noticing him and coming to stay with him.
  • There was something about Jesus that compelled Zacchaeus to tell Him everything, to come clean. And he did.


Jesus immediately responded to Zacchaeus and said, “This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:9-10).

Zacchaeus had come face-to-face with the Son of God, so he couldn’t help but express the truth because Jesus Who is the light of the world, had shined upon his heart. 

Jesus is the truth (John 14:6) and He is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).

Notice the word “seek” in Luke 19:10. Look back at the definition again. Jesus sought Zacchaeus, and Zacchaeus sought Jesus. In the Presence of the Living God, we reciprocate Who He is. Our desire is drawn toward Him, for Who He is. Jesus also desires us.  


In the presence of Jesus, Zacchaeus expressed truth in righteousness (he confessed and repented). Jesus is the truth and righteousness. Jesus desires and seeks after us
He has an intense love and admiration of us! 

He came to seek and save us, all of us.

The great light in Jesus draws the light from our hearts, though the light in our hearts may be dim. His love is like a magnet. Jesus, in His radiance, reflected His righteousness upon Zacchaeus, and Zacchaeus couldn’t help but respond in kind.

Zacchaeus sought Jesus, received Him, told Him the truth and repented of his sin. And salvation came to his house. May it be the same for us, as the great light of Jesus draws us nearer. Study the Bible verse of Luke 19:10. Seek Jesus, and as He draws near may you reflect truth and righteousness back to Him. Salvation is here.



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