Saturday, October 23, 2021

Zacchaeus' Truth


 “And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up [a]and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.  But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”

Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”

And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham;  for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” – Luke 19:5-9

We all know about Zacchaeus.  There’s even a song written about him for children. You probably know it:

Zacchaeus was a wee little man
And a wee little man was he
He climbed up in a sycamore tree
For the Lord he wanted to see

And when the Savior passed that way
He looked up in the tree
And said, 'Zacchaeus, you come down!
For I'm going to your house today!
For I'm going to your house today!'

Zacchaeus was a wee little man
But a happy man was he
For he had seen the Lord that day
And a happy man was he;
And a very happy man was he

But there’s so much more about Zacchaeus that we don’t get from this song.

Zacchaeus was hated by those that knew him.  He was snubbed because he was a tax collector. In those days tax collectors were predominately bad people who took more than they should and kept part of the taxes they collected for themselves. 

But in Zacchaeus’ own testimony to Jesus he said he gave half of what he had to the poor.  Moreover, if he ever overcharged anyone, he gave it back to them four times over.  Zacchaeus wasn’t just a wee little man, he loved poor people enough to help them.  He was honest.  And when Jesus came to town, knowing he was short and wouldn’t see him pass by, he climbed a tree to see him.  His admiration for Jesus was that strong.

We often do the same thing.  There are certain places that if people work there, we consider them as sinners.  Yet the truth is, we all need a job!  We work to take care of our families the best we can.  Judging people by where they work makes about as much sense as judging them by color, shape, size, smell, or anything else.  Friends there are good people and bad people of all sorts of shapes and sizes.  And because only God truly knows anyone, we need to withhold all judgement.  For, after all, with the judgement you give, you will also be judged.  Now some of us have made a long list of ways we will be judged.  Isn’t it time to stop adding to that extensive list?

Zacchaeus may have been a wee little man, and a tax collector.  But Jesus chose to stay at his house, and to see him as the son of Abraham.

 

  

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