Zacchaeus and Us

He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Luke 19:1–10
Zacchaeus and Us
As Christians, we want everyone to hear the Gospel and for the Holy Spirit to give them faith to know Christ as their Savior. We don not desire the eternal death of anyone. Yet when we see someone we don’t like receive the gift of faith, the Old Adam in us often balks at the idea that that person is welcomed by Jesus. We don’t want to be in the same class as someone like that. Thankfully, though, Jesus does not treat us as we so often treat others. Jesus saves Zacchaeus and us by visiting us with mercy. As followers of Christ, we dare never begrudge the mercy others have received. The Gospel can save one sinner who repents just as well as another. Jesus’ love seeks and reaches out to all people, and brings them life eternal. So let us welcome all who repent and share in the forgiveness we have received. May God grant us willing hearts to share the Gospel freely.
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