Friday, August 25, 2017
If you visit Jericho today, the guides will show you a sycamore tree. Similar to the one that Zacchaeus climbed to get above the crowd in order to see Jesus. He was short of stature.
In Luke 19 we quickly learn two things about Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. Tax collectors worked for the state and preyed on the Jews.He was viewed by the Jewish community as a traitor. His wealth came by skimming off his take for the state. Evidently, he was skilled at his trade.
When Jesus came by, he spotted Zacchaeus in the tree and said, “Zacchaeus hurry down. Today is my day to be a guest in your house.” I would bet he practically leaped out of the tree. Wow! Jesus is going to spend some time with me! The crowd was indignant. Why is Jesus cozying up to a crook?
We do not know what Jesus was served at Zach’s place. We do not know what was discussed over lunch. What we do know is that a transformation of character took place during that brief encounter. Suddenly life started to matter to Zach. He wanted his life to count for something more than negative recognition and materialism.
What evidence do we have of a transformation? He promised he would give half of his possessions to the poor, and those that he defrauded, he would pay back four times as much.
Then follows the blessing. Jesus said to Zach, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.” Luke 19:8-10