This past week in church we talked about Zacchaeus. This meant that all week I had the song from Sunday School in my head. The one about how Zacchaeus was a wee little man. It got me thinking about what people think about when they think about Zacchaeus. Most of us probably think of him as being short and as someone who Jesus went and ate with. At least, that is the case if we remember the song about him.
Yet, Zacchaeus is a wonderful example of the life changing power of Christ’s love. See, Zacchaeus was also a tax collector who was known for cheating others. All tax collectors in this time cheated others. No one regulated how much they took, so often they became greedy and took more than they should have. This is probably why Zacchaeus was a rich man.
Yet, on the day Jesus came through his town, Zacchaeus experienced the live changing power of being loved and accepted. Scripture shares how but no one was willing to help Zacchaeus see Jesus. No one liked him enough to do that. So, Zacchaeus climbed a tree. This caught Jesus attention and helped him know who needed his love and acceptance. As they ate, Zacchaeus was so moved by Jesus actions and love that he change his ways. He vowed to pay everything back and not steal any longer.
This is that is all great, but how long did it take him to be known for something besides being short and a thief? Did the people ever believe he was a different person? Were they willing to let him change? Sometimes that is the hardest part of change, others perception of us.
So, what are you known for? Do you like your reputation? Do you wish it was different? Do you want another chance to make a name for yourself? So often we want to try again, but we need help. To me, that help comes from the Lord and the bride of Christ, the church. Yet, we are still talking about Zacchaeus being a wee little man. How long will it take us to have faith in each other enough that we let what we are known for change to be who we have become? Isn’t that what a new life in Christ is all about? Let’s help each other do just that. Blessings, Pastor Tessa