Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met? How did you respond when you ran into this person? Did you actually meet, or did you just see them and get excited and tell stories about it? I actually have had lunch with Captain Stubing from the Love Boat and I’ve met John Maxwell (before he was famous)
I’m often fascinated by people’s experiences with the “rich and famous”. Who people would want to meet most, or spend time having dinner with! Do you ever wonder what it would have been like to live in Jesus’ time. To have experienced the thrill in the countryside when someone mentioned that Jesus, the great teacher, was coming to town. What would have my reaction been to this news? Would have I dropped everything to go experience Him teaching? Would have I gone out of my way to encounter Him?
This weekend Steve Tanner our Next Steps Pastor talked a bit about Zacchaeus. Many of you may remember the bible story or perhaps the children’s song “Zacchaeus was a wee-little man…a wee-little man was he” But Steve offered a new perspective that caught my attention…who are the “Zacchaeus’s” in my life that I should take time to reach out too…
As the bible story goes…Zacchaeus was an unloved member of his community. As a tax collector he was despised for gouging his community members for his own financial gain. He was “in bed with” the Roman empire and his contemporaries rejected him because of this! He was an inquisitive man and had heard about this great teacher Jesus. He wanted to catch a glimpse of this “celebrity” and knew that being of short stature and outcast in his community it would be a difficult task, but, he took initiative and found a tree to climb so that when Jesus passed by he would be able to see him. He was determined! I like that about him!
SO, here he is hanging out in this tree and low and behold…Jesus walked right up to him and told him…hey, I want to come to your house and have dinner! Let’s get to know each other!
HOW cool would have that been! I highly doubt Zacchaeus climbed that tree thinking; tonight I’m going to have Jesus over for dinner! BUT that’s exactly what happened, and this dinner CHANGED HIS LIFE! Spending time with Jesus and hearing his teaching, Zacchaeus felt convicted of his behavior…he knew his actions toward his community had been wrong and he apologized for that and asked for forgiveness AND not only that…he took action and promised to pay back what he had stolen and MORE!
Zacchaeus can be a great example for us…he took action to see Jesus. How do we look for Jesus daily? Zacchaeus sat down and had conversation with Jesus. What do we do each day to connect with Jesus? Zacchaeus had a changed heart because of his encounter with Jesus! How are our hearts changed for the better because of Jesus? Zacchaeus took action to give back to his community! How do we serve and love on the people in our community?
Honestly, after this weekend, I want to be more like Zacchaeus.