Jesus and That Sinner
Scripture Reading — Luke 19:1-9
All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.'"
Did you see what happened? Zacchaeus-that shady tax collector who made a friend sell his business to pay off tax debts and who then bought a new farm the very next week-he started giving his money away!
We first notice something strange when we see Zacchaeus perched in a tree rather than seated behind his official bench in the city square. Then as Jesus comes by, Zacchaeus hurries down from the tree and escorts Jesus to his house! Some of us may wonder if Zacchaeus wants to make another victim out of Jesus, but Jesus doesn't seem nervous or frightened. We hear later that Jesus has invited himself over to Zacchaeus's house.
After Jesus and Zacchaeus have been together for a while, Zacchaeus comes out of his house and sets up shop right in the street! But instead of demanding money, he starts handing it out!
He says something about giving to the poor and paying back what he has stolen. We're all pretty amazed-and then we get in line too!
As Jesus heads out of town toward Jerusalem, someone says that Jesus called Zacchaeus "a son of Abraham." I would have called Zacchaeus a lot of other things!
But it makes you wonder, doesn't it? Maybe a new beginning is possible for anyone!
<p>Dear Lord, you made a new beginning even in Zacchaeus's life! I am glad-because such great grace and forgiveness give me great hope. Thank you! In your name, Amen.</p>