Revolutions are often won and lost on battlefields by armies. Forces and powers are gathered together and pitted against one another in an epic struggle for dominance. Usually, the stronger soldiers and the superior firepower wins out, but the revolution of the King looks different in our world. In Luke 19, we see another unlikely participant in the ongoing movement of God’s kingdom becoming manifest in our world.
Jesus comes to Jericho. There are leaders there. There are powerful people there that are well-liked and have deep influence in the community. Many of these folks were deeply interested in this amazing man named Jesus who was sweeping through the countryside healing and teaching.Crowds are gathering. Who will Jesus invite in? Where will he invest? Certainly, it won’t be in a wee little man who has completely sold out and exploited his own people for profit. Jesus will clearly not associate himself with one of the most hated people in that region, the chief tax collector. But, that is exactly what Jesus does. He moves with intentionality towards the one who is neither a mighty warrior nor qualified to be one of the ‘good guys’.
As we move towards worship this week, ask yourself some questions: Do I see myself in Zaccheaus (and not just because you are short)? Did God choose me because of how qualified I am? How do we respond to the overwhelming grace of God poured out in our lives? Do we see that grace?
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Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”