The Men in Christ's Life: Zacchaeus
- Tuesday, May 13, 2008
It was during this time that I found out my value in Christ. SOLO put on the huge singles conference each year called SingleLight. The year prior they had a "nobody" named Steven Curtis Chapman lead their worship. Ha! They asked me if I would like to help with the event. They knew my background was in graphics. They asked if I could do the banner for the outside of the civic center, the location of the conference. I was like, "Sure, sounds like fun."
I asked when was the conference, and they said it would be in 11 months. I said, "OK, call me in 10 months." They said, "Well, you are part of the team now and well, we meet weekly to prepare for the conference." Weekly! Weekly? For a banner? Then they said, "Well, we could get someone else." Then I was like, "No, no, I can do it" (I loved the idea of everyone seeing my work up on a building ... this is where one of my feet was still in the world). "OK, I can meet weekly." Then they said, "Oh and we do a devotion and pray, too." I was like, a devotion and prayer!! Ugh! Well, what was cool about this is that these guys met me where I was in this world. They found common ground with me.
As the weeks went on, I realized that this meeting was much more than deciding where to put a registration desk or what T-shirts to buy. It was a time of growing in Christ. It was a time of understanding my purpose. I learned that my purpose was simple. A relationship with Christ that glorifies Him that transfers into relationships with others. Wow! I had a reason to live! I could make a difference. I was important to Christ, as I was, where I was. Everything that I was doing was to glorify Jesus. And yes, he did know how many hairs I had on my head and loves each one of them, too.
Zacchaeus, was another person who had a bunch of junk in his life. The town did not like him for the kind of work he did. But like myself, I believe he had one foot in the world and one foot in Christ. And he needed one step (up a tree) to cross the line where he, too, would know his purpose.
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.' 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." Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
— Luke 19:1-10
What I have learned from Zacchaeus:
1. Even the worst of sinners knows truth.
Even in the worst times of my life, when I have been the farthest from Christ, I knew the difference between right and wrong. For one reason, my parents taught me the difference but also, God says we are born knowing the difference—even though we choose sin. Zacchaeus had heard about Jesus coming. Based on what was about to happen, he knew what it would take to clean his slate. To feel forgiven for his sins. He knew who had the power to forgive him. He knew the truth. Zacchaeus, needed a new start, do you?
A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd.
— Luke 19:2-3
2. When we know the truth, we need to run to it.
God talks about that when we are tempted (and temptation isn't the sin, it's falling into that is sinful) that we are to run, flee. In the same way, I believe when we see and know the truth that we should run to it. And run as fast as you can. Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus. What would he look like? Would he have a halo on his head? Would he be tall or short like me? Would he be dressed in fine clothes like me? Would he be funny or smart? He just wanted to see him, just one glimpse. Zacchaeus, due to his size, was having a hard time seeing Jesus through the crowd. So he ran and climbed up a tree. He would never realize that making these steps would change his life forever, for eternity. Sometimes we are only one step away from a life with Christ, one step away from living with Him for eternity.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
— Luke 19:4
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