The story of Zaccheus is a reminder that God’s grace reaches much further than we can ever see, or many times much further than we WANT to see.
We must start to look at people the way God does, even if they are not someone that we like to be around. No person is insignificant to Him and that should be the case with us also. Every person matters to God, so even that person that “gets on our last nerve” should be prayed over to see what God might be telling us to do.
Unfortunately I have felt that a person deserved all the bad things they got because they did something to me that was not nice. I am well aware that the Bible says that we will always reap what we sow, but sometimes I have been much too happy for judgment to fall on someone else when I should have been praying for them in a sincere manner for God to truly change their heart.
I am amazed that God has not “zapped” me many times for judging others when I was doing something that was just as bad in HIS eyes. Of course, I wasn’t looking at myself as being nearly as bad as the other person. After all, I was very religious and did a lot of good works. I should have read in Revelations about the church in Laodicea (Rev. 3: 14-17) where God wanted to spew them out of His mouth because they were neither hot nor cold.
Yes, it is very much easier to see the sins of others than take a good hard look at yourself.
Let’s read the story of Zaccheus as we look at him through the eyes of Jesus.
19 He entered Jericho and was passing through.
2And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich.
3And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature.
4So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way.
5And 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.”
6So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.
7And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”
8And Zacchaeus stood and said 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.”
9And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.
10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Zaccheus was definitely not someone that the average person would have gone out of their way to try to save. He was despised by the common people because he was a tax collector. All the tax collectors in his day had very bad reputations, so even if he was trying to do rightmost people would have never given him the same chance that Jesus did by looking through his tough exterior to see his inner heart.
The Scripture says that Jesus is the one who looked up in the tree and started the conversation. He invited himself to the house of Zaccheus and ate lunch with him because he knew that Zaccheus was looking for something that was real. In spite of his money and status, he was miserable inside.
Of course the “religious” people couldn’t see the readiness for change in Zaccheus like Jesus could; they did not understand at all and started bashing him for eating with “sinners”. Jesus didn’t seem to mind, though, because he went anyway.
The Holy Spirit can show us those people who are hurting who would never start a conversation with us. We need to be on the lookout for people who need help.
Jesus was in constant touch with His Father and that is how He knew who was ready to change and who wasn’t.
John 12: 49-50
49For I do not speak of myself, but from the Father who sent me and commanded me what I should say and what I should speak.
50And I know that [to obey] his command is life everlasting. Therefore, whatever I speak is just as the Father tells me to speak.“7 [Jesus didnothing in his will, only by the Father’s will; this is what it means when you pray: thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. We have to learn and be changed to be able to only do the Father’s will on earth, the same as the Father’s will is done in heaven by the angels.]
John 5: 19
19Then Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you; the Son can do nothing of himself [by his own will], but only does what he sees the Father do. For whatever things he [the Father] does, these are also likewise done by the Son.2 [Jesus did nothing in his will, only by the Father’swill; this is what it means when you pray: thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. We have to learn and be changed to be able to only do the Father’s will on earth, the same as the Father’s will is done in heaven by the angels.]
Let the Holy Spirit lead you in everyday encounters with those people you might think would never want to change. He can show you the exact words to say and actions to take that will make a real difference in their life at exactly the right time and season.
This post written by Cathy Deaton.
Please check out my other sites:
How To Deal With A Selfish Person
Handbook for Victorious Christian Living
Blueprint for Victorious Christian Living
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