God’s Word of Love
Luke 19:1-10: Jesus visits Zacchaeus, a tax collector, who welcomes Jesus into his home, despite the grumblings of others. Through this encounter with Jesus, Zacchaeus is transformed and is a recipient of Jesus’s love and mercy.
[Jesus said:] “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Jesus and Zacchaeus
1Jesus went on into Jericho and was passing through. 2There was a chief tax collector there named Zacchaeus, who was rich. 3He was trying to see who Jesus was, but he was a little man and could not see Jesus because of the crowd. 4So he ran ahead of the crowd and climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus, who was going to pass that way. 5When Jesus came to that place, he looked up and said to Zacchaeus, “Hurry down, Zacchaeus, because I must stay in your house today.”
6Zacchaeus hurried down and welcomed him with great joy. 7All the people who saw it started grumbling, “This man has gone as a guest to the home of a sinner!”
8Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Listen, sir! I will give half my belongings to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will pay back four times as much.”
9Jesus said to him, “Salvation has come to this house today, for this man, also, is a descendant of Abraham. 10 The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Both Jewish and Roman law said that a person must pay back anything taken by theft or cheating, plus a penalty. Four times was about the most Jewish law would have required a thief to repay (Exodus 22:1; 2 Samuel 12:6). What does Zacchaeus promise to do? Why do people grumble about Jesus helping Zacchaeus? How does Jesus “seek and save the lost” (19:10) today?
Lord Jesus, thank you for the gift of your salvation and for welcoming me into your kingdom. Teach me to reach out to those who are lost or lonely and bring them your comforting Word of love. In your holy name I pray. Amen.
Leviticus 19:1-18: God’s people are told to be holy.