“He entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. 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 down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.” Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.” Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.” Luke 19:1-10
When I read this passage I am reminded of a brilliant sermon Mere preached for her senior sermon at Austin Seminary. She beautifully exposed the overwhelming transformational nature of Jesus the Christ and those that dare venture anywhere near him.
I also giggle a bit as I am reminded of the exegetical material that offered the Zacchaeus was a “wee little” man indeed. Somewhere in the back of some dusty book I found something that claimed or suggested that the short part in the passage describes his member [penis for the adults in the room]. Another place suggested that Jesus was the short one surrounded by this massive crowd and Zacchaeus had to climb a tree to see the savior of All.
I am drawn to the rapid response to The Christ’s call by Zacchaeus. Jesus tells Zacchaeus that he will be dinning at his house with him and he agrees. Many people that were surrounding Jesus started to bitch about where Jesus was going to eat lunch. Jesus backhands them with silence [according to Luke, where no response from Jesus is given until after the meal and Zacchaeus’ response happens].
Zacchaeus is moved by the tangible relationship that he and Jesus now have. Zacchaeus is hungry for something more than what he has experienced. Jesus responds to Zacchaeus’ hunger and inspires Zacchaeus to make a life changing decision. Zacchaeus redefines himself all together.
I love the tangible relationship idea. How many times have I found myself wondering aloud about the better my life would be if I had “this” or “that” in my life. The tangible witness to better lay fast asleep in my thoughts to be replaced by the reality that my hope for better is rooted in a commercial idealism brought to you by years embedded within a consumer, material culture.
Is this the freedom that Jesus’ relation ship offers Zacchaeus? Zacchaeus was also stuck in the ass end of material culture. He was a tax collector and was hell bent on wealth and consumption. He built his life upon the backs of others. So to have I built the comfortable cocoon I live in upon the backs of most developing nations. I enjoy the “good things” of life at the expense of others. Why have I not responded to the tangible relationship that I have been offered in Jesus the Christ?
This is a bit hard to swallow…I wish I had a better answer for you. I fail, major fail in the transforming of my life. I placate the hunger for more with a phucking article on Zacchaeus & Jesus rather than giving away 4 times as much as I stole. No wonder I will be roasting mallows in Hades…I am an a$$hole.
God help me. I have been waiting in the wrong house for salvation to come. What is the address of Zac’s place?