Friday, April 19, 2013

Luke 19:1-10

v. 1-10 Jesus was passing through Jericho.  There was a man by the name of Zacchaeus who was the chief tax collector and was very rich.  He wanted to see Jesus and was short so he couldn't see and he ran ahead of the crowd and climbed a tree.  Jesus looked up at him and said, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately.  I must stay at your house today."  When the people saw that they muttered "He has gone to be the guest of a sinner."  Zacchaeus said to Jesus "Look, Lord!  Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."  Jesus said, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."

Despite the obstacles, Zacchaeus was determined to see Jesus.  Jesus recognized a man who was driven and picked his house to visit that day.  It was customary for the host to invite the guest, yet here it was the other way around.  Did Jesus hear his heart calling what his mouth could not say?  God is looking for those that go above and beyond what the rest are doing.  He wants eager people who will find a way to get to Him, not people who are complacent and are going through the motions.  People tend to judge others so easily, yet they do not hold the same standards for themselves.  The man did not care what the other people said about him or he probably would have never showed up that day to see Jesus.  He was radically changed and didn't care who knew it.  He told Jesus that he would give half of his possessions to the poor, which is way more than required by the law.  He was giving with his heart not out of obligation.  He also said that if he wronged anyone he would repay them four times the amount.  Here is a man who right away pulled a 180 in his life and was changed for the better. 

"Zacchaeus demonstrated inward change by outward action."
                                                                                                                                                  NIV notes

Jesus called this man a son of Abraham and that he was lost, which probably made the people furious.  They would not want to think the tax collector was one of them, a son of Abraham.  They also probably were offended that Jesus would call a son of Abraham lost.  Your not saved by good heritage or condemned by a bad one.  Many who don't know Jesus are offended when told that they are lost because they do not see it that way.  I think a lot of people are trying to share how they felt before Jesus came into their lives.  Saying they were lost and now found is a good description.  You will not think that you are lost before you are ready to be found.

Tax collectors were Jews who decided to work for Rome and they were hated by other Jews.  They were considered traitors since they were known for getting rich off of gouging their fellow Jews.  In every country there are certain groups who are considered "untouchable" or "especially wicked" because of their immoral behavior, political views or their lifestyle.  Jesus loves those people that the world thinks are undeserving. 


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