About a month ago, I made a post about Zacchaeus. Here’s the other side of the story.
Jesus had a habit of hanging out with the people others despised. Some, even his own disciples, thougth this behavior strange. Thankfully their criticism didn’t stop Jesus. In Luke 19, Jesus approached a man who had a permanent home on most people’s block list. This “wee little man” was a tax collector, but even worse he stole money from people. Jesus saw something good in him though that others didn’t see.
While it makes a cool story that Jesus called out to a man who had done some very public wrongs, there’s more to the story. Jesus said that he came to “seek and to save those like him who are lost.” (Luke 19:10). No one liked Zacchaeus so it fit Jesus’s character to reach out to him. What makes Jesus even more awesome is that Jesus does that for anyone. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, whether public or in secret. Jesus doesn’t care if you’re short, have purple hair, or dress in jeans and a t-shirt every day. Jesus wants to know you whether you live in the United States, India, or even Antarctica. Jesus desires to show perfect love and kindness to you. Zacchaeus was called and he chose to come down. Will you come down from your tree to meet with Jesus?
Christians, you’re not exempt from this story. We have a lesson to learn as well. Jesus chose to spend time with Zacchaeus. The people around him thought he was crazy to hang out with this notorious sinner, but Jesus ignored their comments. How often do we avoid loving or even talking to certain types of people because of their actions or reputations? That’s not how Jesus would treat them. We, myself included, need to put aside our petty biases and show love to everyone. That’s our lesson to learn from Zac’s encounter with Jesus.