Luke 19: 1-10
Jesus was going through Jericho, where a man named Zacchaeus lived. He was in charge of collecting taxes and was very rich.
Jesus was heading his way, and Zacchaeus wanted to see what he was like. But Zacchaeus was a short man and could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree.
When Jesus got there, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry down! I want to stay with you today.” Zacchaeus hurried down and gladly welcomed Jesus.
Everyone who saw this started grumbling, “This man Zacchaeus is a sinner! And Jesus is going home to eat with him.”
Later that day Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “I will give half of my property to the poor. And I will now pay back four times as much to everyone I have ever cheated.”
Jesus said to Zacchaeus, “Today you and your family have been saved, because you are a true son of Abraham The Son of Man came to look for and to save people who are lost.”
At the beginning of his Gospel, Luke states that he has researched the stories around the person of Jesus. The incidentals of this tale, told only by Luke, suggest a story that has passed the test of time.
Jesus has spent time with tax collectors in the past; unpopular collaborators with Rome. Zacchaeus has profited from this collaboration – popular or not he has wealth and status. Despite this, he can’t get what he wants; he can’t fight his way through the crowd. He makes a choice to act out of character; to act more like a child than a grown man; as high as he sits he has made himself vulnerable. It is this vulnerability that gets Jesus’s attention; that invites hospitality and redemption.
Seeking God’s grace often suggests pilgrimage or journey; perhaps it needs no more than moving out of your comfort zone; making yourself vulnerable? Then Jesus can make the invitation that leads to the home within you; to the place of transformation.
A transformation that brings forth forgiveness, generosity and love.