Luke 19:1-10

“And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchæus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchæus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchæus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

This fellow Zacchaeus had a funny name and he was short. But his story is huge.

He was a sinner.

He stole.  He stole from the poor. He oppressed them. He was hated.

Yet he was rich.

There came a time in his life when the money and pleasure and “fun” wasn’t enough.

He was empty.

He knew something wasn’t right.

Sure,  there was guilt. But he wanted to live well because he just knew what was right.

So he heard about Jesus. People talked about him. He was a miracle worker.  He saved people from their sins.

Zacchaeus had never met Jesus, only heard about him.

But when he learned there was hope, h3 jumped at the chance.

He was just so empty. He couldn’t ignore it anymore.

What would it hurt to try Jesus?

If it didn’t turn out that the witnesses were true, he could always back out, right?

So he made a decision to go all out. Anything to relieve this emptiness.

He had to be on earth for something more than this, right?

So he paid back those poor folks he stole from – four times what he stole. He gave half his wealth to the poor.

Money wasn’t making him happy anyway, right?

What the heck?

And when he heard he could actually meet Jesus, he jumped at the chance!

The crowd was too big.  He was too small.

But he didn’t let lies in his mind tell him he was insignificant.

He didn’t care what people were going to say about him. That they were going to judge him.

He was just so empty.

He had to out his whole heart into it. No regrets.

He climbed a tree because he had to get close.

He heard so much. Why can’t he experience it himself? He was just like everyone else, after all.

And when Jesus saw him – the sinner, the thief, the oppressor – Jesus didn’t say anything about that.

He wanted to sit with Zacchaeus, to share God’s love with him. He even wanted to go to Zacchaeus’ house!

Oh how the people judged him. “Why would Jesus want to spend time with HIM?”

Jesus answered their question simply and common sense.

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

No one is beyond saving. We all need a savior.

It’s just so empty without him.

Seek him with all your heart.  I guarantee you, it will bring Jesus into your house – even your heart.

Father, in Jesus’ name I thank you for loving us no matter what. If only we could be like that! Lord, I pray for my brother who is looking for relevance in his life. I pray for my sister who wants a fulfilling relationship for a change. Bring them into your bosom. Show them they’re not ugly or worthless. Help them to accept your abundant and free love. Amen!


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