Luke 19:1-10


We all have different experiences in life, but there are often common threads.  Many people have had times in their lives when they felt like an outsider, all alone, feeling despised by others, sometimes having done something that has really hurt another person.  There are times when we feel stuck as if there is no way forward. 

That is likely how Zacchaeus felt in Luke 19:1-10.  Zacchaeus was a tax collector, despised by all the people.  Tax collectors had the reputation of collecting extra money to pocket for themselves.  People felt cheated by them.  Zacchaeus was likely guilty, ashamed, and hopeless.  Maybe he also feared God’s judgment, believing that he will get what he deserves: punishment for his sin. 

But Zacchaeus experienced a great reversal.  God turned his life around.  Zacchaeus sought out Jesus, but what he discovered was that it was really Jesus who was seeking him.  Though we may feel far from God, God comes near to us.  Jesus befriended Zacchaeus with no regard for how others would judge him.  Offering friendship can be risky.  Yet we are called to follow the way of Jesus in befriending the friendless. 

In Jesus’ presence, Zacchaeus was changed.  His heart was transformed.  As he received a renewed relationship with God, Zacchaeus sought to right the wrongs he had done to others.  The direction of his life was reversed.  Jesus can transform our lives as well.  In Zacchaeus’ life and in ours, we see that with Jesus, there is always another chance for a renewed life.

In response, we are encouraged to allow Jesus into the dark parts of our lives.  We confess to God and to trusted people, facing the reality of what we have done wrong.  We also seek to make right what we have done wrong.  This involves taking responsibility, expressing regret, asking for forgiveness, repenting, and making restitution. Finally, we respond by joining Jesus in befriending the rejected, helping others experience renewed life in Christ.


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