Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Daily - 11/16/10

Luke 19:1-10

1 He came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.

2 Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,

3 was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature.

4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way.

5 When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house."

6 And he came down quickly and received him with joy.

7 When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner."

8 But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over."

9 And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.

10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost."

I wish I knew more back story about Zacchaeus. He's got success in the world, but he's unsatisfied. He's seen enough of what the world has to offer. He knows that his life is missing something. He wants more.

He's being CALLED.

This had to have been building in him for a long time, because when he hears the Lord is coming, he goes for it. He does what he needs to do to make sure He encounters the Lord, despite his own shortcomings. He runs ahead of the others. He climbs the tree so that he can see the Lord. Jesus walks by, and is EXPECTING him. Hurry down, he says, I'm staying with you tonight.

Jesus calls. A man responds. Christ comes to the man, and meets him right where he is in his own life. The man's life is changed forever. How many conversion stories have you heard that have this element in them?

Compare Zacchaeus with the rich young leader in Mark 10. When the rich young leader came to Christ, he told Christ about the holy thing he'd done in his life, and asked him what more to do, Christ told him to give everything away. The man walks away sad. When Zacchaeus comes to Christ, he repents from his ways, and tells Christ's he's going to give half of his possessions away. Christ responds by offering salvation to his house.

Why does he tell the rich young leader to give everything, but he rejoices when Zacchaeus gives half?

I think it's the difference between pride and humility.

The rich young leader came to Christ to show Him (and probably everyone else around) how "good" he really was. Zacchaeus comes from a life of sin to repent. The rich young leader came with pride. Zacchaeus came with humility. The rich young leader went away sad. Zaccheus rejoiced.