If you are a parent, think about the time your child learned to walk you would patiently support your child, giving the toddler a sense a balance. When you let go, the child would take a few steps and usually plop down to the floor. Did you say, you’ll never get right ! Just forget it! And walk away in disgust because your child fell? Of course not! You most likely applauded the efforts, went over, helped them up and started again. That’s the way God is with us-ever patient, ever wanting us get it.
And in the wonderful story of Zacchaeus the tax collector, he got it. Although tax collectors were Jewish, they were considered lowest of the low. Many times they would pilfer some of the revenues for themselves. But it seems the Zacchaeus was about to change his label.
As Jesus was passing through Jericho, a crowd gathered around him, no doubt curious about this itinerant preacher, that did not exclude the tax collector Zacchaeus. We are told he was quite a short guy, but we soon learn he was very proactive about his height. He found a sycamore tree and climbed up it just he could see Jesus. There was something about Jesus that made Zacchaeus risk his reputation. And indeed, his reputation would be changed in a wonderful way.
Jesus called him by name and told Zacchaeus to come down from the tree because Jesus was going to his house right away. Zacchaeus was transformed that day as evidenced by his statement to our Lord. He said, Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted from anyone I shall repay it four times over.
Jesus proclaimed that the salvation had come to Zacchaeus’ house that day for The Son of Man has come to seek and save the lost. God’s never-ceasing love had come to that home because Zacchaeus had opened himself to Jesus and a new way of life and found wholeness in that new life.
This lesson is applicable to all of us. If we are open to seeking Jesus and strive to get as close as possible to him. We are going to find that we, too, can be transformed. The challenge today then is this: are we willing to risk everything , as Zacchaeus did, in order to find ourselves enveloped in the love of God, who waits so patiently for all, to lay our lives in his hands?
What does that mean? Can you let of the anger and bitterness you held toward someone in your circle of friends or family? Can you forgive yourself for an action that had haunted you for years? Is it possible to allow God’s mercy and love to flow through you to another person who desperately needs to know God cares for him?then you, too, can be like Zacchaeus who was substantially changed by his encounter with Jesus and in turn, wanted to pass that same mercy and love onto others.
May God bless you all
Your brother in Christ