Get your Daily Encouragement with the Jesus Minute
When Jesus showed up in Jericho, he did something most revolutionary. Let’s check it out together. Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over 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, “Zaccheus, 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.”
Zaccheus 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).
Instead of hanging out with the religious and super-spiritual leaders of the city, Jesus saw a man up in the sycamore tree and addressed him: “Zack, come on down. Let’s hang out together today at your house!”
The story is universally misunderstood. Most believe that after Zaccheus had this initial encounter with Jesus, he was a spiritually changed man.However, Zaccheus just landed on his feet at the base of the tree and made his famous statement to Jesus. They had not had any time to talk or discuss his life.
As you take a closer look at what Zaccheus actually said, it changes everything. “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.” He is saying, “Jesus, I am presently giving half of what I own to the poor and if anyone believes I have cheated them in any way, I am repaying them four times the amount.” Zaccheus had confidence he wasn’t cheating anyone and was already a charitable man to the poor.
I think Jesus set up this divine appointment with Zaccheus to make a point. Zaccheus, the man who doesn’t enjoy religious and super-spiritual status, is far more honest and spiritual than those who hold those positions in the city of Jericho.
Jesus knew Zaccheus, all right. He knew him well. He knew his heart. The point of this encounter is to clarify who is right before God and who is not.Jesus broke down the invisible wall between the religious and the non-religious by choosing to hang out with a tainted sinner over the super-spiritual religious. Simply HANGING OUT with the unacceptable one tore down this invisible wall in that city. So, where are you hanging out?