And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to
this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man
came to seek and save the lost.”
– Luke 19:9-10 (ESV)
There is no argument that Bobby Bowden is one of the greatest college football coaches of all time. Bowden built the Florida State Seminoles into a powerhouse that finished in the Associated Press Top-5 fourteen consecutive seasons and won National Championships in 1993 and 1999. However with all the success, there were still some who questioned his coaching philosophy. Coach Bowden was well known for giving his players a second chance after making poor decisions. He has always felt he did the right thing by using this approach claiming there were more successes than failures. “I did have some players where you can’t save them. You have to let them go. People wonder why, why do coaches defend their boys? Well you know, Ann and I had six children and if they got in trouble I’d sure want somebody to give them a second chance.” There is little doubt this mindset is one of the reasons why at the age of 91, Coach Bowden is fiercely loved by former players and coaches.
We live in an unforgiving world that loves to tell us we’re not good enough. Too tall, too short, too young, too old, not smart enough, live in the wrong neighborhood. The list is endless. The fear of rejection is real and it can be terrifying. Zacchaeus knew about rejection. He was the chief tax collector in the region near Jericho and despised by the people. He was viewed as a traitor for serving the Roman government and making himself wealthy by stealing hard earned money from his fellow Jews. When Zacchaeus heard that Jesus was coming to town he wanted to see Him so badly, he climbed a sycamore tree to get a better view. Not only did Zacchaeus see Jesus, Jesus saw him and asked to be a guest in his house that very day. Despite the grumblings and protests from the crowd, Jesus gave Zacchaeus a second chance. He became a new man that day! His outward actions began to demonstrate that an inner change had taken place. That’s the message Jesus brings to us all. Through faith in Jesus, the lost can be forgiven and made new. Our security is in Christ alone.
Thank You Father for being a God of second chances. Open my heart to the wounded and rejected today so that I might share with them the love of Your Son Jesus. Amen.