Zacchaeus – 2019.07.22

Zacchaeus – 2019.07.22

Zacchaeus, come down immediately (from the tree)! I must stay at your house today.
Jesus Christ, in Luke 19, 5

Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. He knew what was waiting for him there. He had no haste, but also no fear. He trusted His Father and was safe and serene in Him. As He walked through Jericho, a huge crowd quickly gathered along the road. There in Jericho there was a small man, Zacchaeus. He suffered from his small growth. He felt expelled by his fellow men, who constantly teased him. So he became a thief, suffered from corruption and became very, very rich. Yet the people mocked him. Zacchaeus desperately wanted to see Jesus. He had already heard so much about Him! He knew that one of his disciples had also been a customs collector, a servant of the ruling power and certainly a corrupt fraud. He wanted to see Jesus, this friend of sinners. But the people blocked his way and his sight. They had such broad shoulders and could speak so intelligently …. he had no chance. Today he wanted to leave the devout alone. Then he came up with an idea, ran ahead of the train and climbed a tree along the way to at least see Jesus. When Jesus came to this place, He stopped. Something moved Him; – yes, the Spirit of God talked to Him. He looked around and then searched the tree and discovered Zacchaeus. Hey, Zacchaeus! I am looking for you! Come down quickly from the tree, for I must be your guest today! – This, of course, outraged the saints who expected Jesus to give them recognition and respect. And now He takes care of such a villain! Well, that can’t be a prophet if He doesn’t know what kind of guy that is! – But Zacchaeus climbed from the tree in no time. He no longer cared for the hypocrites and took Jesus by the hand and pulled Him to his house. Finally a guest who didn’t want to do “business”! He was very excited and quickly gave instructions for a good meal. People were outraged. He has come to a sinner! Such a “prophet”! Surely He could choose something better! No, a friend of sinners ….. perhaps He is of the same kind, a deceiver and liar? Who knows! – so the people talked. But Zacchaeus was happy. He looked into Jesus’ eyes, and he recognized Jesus’ heart: full of love and mercy, a true God. Jesus’ gaze penetrated him, and he saw himself as he was: a deceiver. But he also saw the love and encouragement of Jesus; he noticed that Jesus said yes to him, little Zacchaeus. He placed his deepest trust in Him and decided not to disappoint this Lord any more. So he said, “Lord Jesus, I give half my wealth to the poor who need it. And if I have betrayed any man, I will refund him fourfold! I don’t want to go on living like this! – Then the LORD looked at him again and saw the seriousness of Zacchaeus. Yes, Jesus thought, he has become a child of God. He said loudly to Zacchaeus, so that everyone could hear it: Today salvation has been given to this house because this man is also a son of Abraham. The Son of Man (Jesus Christ) has come to seek and save what is lost!

O Jesus, thank You for seeking me out, for finding me and redeeming me!  

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