The Bible is not a collection of doctrines. It’s not a listing of truths you have to agree with. It’s God speaking to you, to me, to all people, through the lives of some very imperfect human beings … and one extraordinary exception.
Let me show you.
You have fallen short your whole life. You have fallen short from what you have wanted or hoped, in your thoughts, and actions, and feelings. But you have found ways to deal with this. You have just let things go.
You have taken control by going on the offense, making your voice and presence a force to be reckoned with. You find the faults and flaws in everyone, that most people seem to miss, that enable you to see no one as better than you. No one, really, any different.
You have achieved a kind of balance with your shortness … and are making a kind of life with it. A life that enables you to be comfortable with your shortness.
You are Zacchaeus. And like Zacchaeus, one day you start to hear about this man named Jesus. A man so kind and gentle with those who are looked down upon, and so hard with judgmental religious people.
You become curious. Can anybody really be that good?
You hear you might be able to see him, hear him for yourself. But something in you is warning you .. don’t go. So you tell yourself … you will go … because you will see through him, find the faults and flaws others haven’t.
It turns out to be more difficult than you thought.
No one wants to let you in. You seen an opening, and someone blocks it. Finally you literally climb over everybody to see.
Just in time to see Jesus. Coming from around the corner. He gets to you, he stops, and looks at you. You’ve never been looked at that way before.
People are always looking at you .. sometimes staring .. but you’ve known … they’ve never really seen you. But this man … as he looks at you … you realize … you know … he sees you. He really sees you.
And then he says … “Zacchaeus, come down out of that tree .. I want to come to your house today.”
Next thing you know … you are giving away money.
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “Jesus has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and id to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” [Luke 19:1-10 (English Standard Version … used by permission)]
“I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – Jesus [John 8:12 (ESV)]
Pastor Craig Tufts, Our Saviour Lutheran