Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our Gospel reading from Luke 19 tells of Zacchaeus. He, so often featured in children’s Bible story books and songs, catches our attention, but for all the wrong reasons. What’s the situation? Zacchaeus is short. He can’t see over the crowds of people. He humbles himself, climbing a tree to see Jesus. This is not a very dignified thing to do. And he’s an important man! A tax agent. He is the kind of person who could order some servants or bodyguards to clear a space so he could see Jesus. For some reason, he prefers to be incognito. From the back of the crowd he climbs a tree to get a view of Jesus.
Jesus recognizes him. This is the big event. Jesus picks him out of a crowd. Jesus’ acknowledgement of Zacchaeus, his self-invitation to dinner, his voluntary plan to sit at peace with Zacchaeus and his associates moves the tax collector.
Zacchaeus doesn’t need anyone to tell him his wrongdoing. He doesn’t need anyone to confront his sin. He has seen it himself, day by day. He does, however, need someone to give him the good news of God’s forgiveness. Here it comes. God himself, God the Son, will sit down to dine with Zacchaeus, the sinful tax collector. The man who was lost has been found.
We also, when we see we are lost, realize that Jesus is the one who has come to seek and save us. He has not left us trying to get a glimpse of his mercy. He has come to dine with us.
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