Jesus sees the 'little' people.Imagine being the most hated and despised member of your community... Zacchaeus, of Jericho was wealthy, a chief tax-collector, mentioned only in the Gospel of Luke. Tax collectors were despised as traitors (working for the Roman Empire, not for their Jewish community), and as being corrupt. Zacchaeus was not only dealing with the community's hate, but he was also challenged by the fact that he was a "wee little man".
Ironically, Jericho was one of the cities favoured by the priests. Nonetheless, our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ, challenged public opinion in that city, by announcing his intention to lodge for the night with one whose life's occupation was so hateful to the Jewish religious world. Matthew Henry comments, "Christ is come to his house, and where Christ comes he brings salvation with him. He came into this lost world to seek and to save it. His design was to save, when there was no salvation in any other."
The story of Zacchaeus teaches us that we need to recognise that all people need God's love. We cannot discriminate against them because of their gender, race, handicap, social status, or as in the case of Zacchaeus, their physical stature. Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour was crucified, died and rose again for all humanity; His love for us will go to any height, depth, length or width to bring us salvation.
William Barclay argues: "The story ends with the great words, the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost. We must always be careful how we take the meaning of this word "lost." In the New Testament it does not mean damned or doomed. It simply means in the wrong place. A thing is lost when it has got out of its own place into the wrong place; and when we find such a thing, we return it to the place it ought to occupy. A man is lost when he has wandered away from God; and he is found when once again he takes his rightful place as an obedient child in the household and the family of his Father."
Finally, Jesus Christ wants all people to find their rightful place before God our Father. He needs you and I to be part of His mission, therefore we need to recognise that all people need God's love, including the fact that Jesus sees "little" people.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ give us your heart of love, as we love all people, including the "little people".
|He 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. (Luke19:1-6)|
Wayne van Heerden is husband to Frances, Dad to David and Angela and enjoys gym, serving at Centurion West Presbyterian Church. (Wayne is a member of the MaD Committee)