“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10
The story of Zacchaeus in the Bible is a familiar one to many Christians who have grown up in the church and maybe even sung the familiar Sunday School song about the “ … wee little man.”
For adult Christians, however, the story gives pause for thought. Why does Jesus frequent the homes of men like Zacchaeus? The Jews would have detested this tax collector for his practice of fleecing them of their money in order to pay off the hated Roman occupiers.
Jesus looks past his obvious sin and, instead, sees a man who desperately needed to hear the gospel and one who would respond with tremendous remorse when confronted with the truth of his lifestyle. Shouldn’t that be our goal as we interact with “sinners?” Why do we often respond like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day and question his willingness to engage with those far from God?
Recently, I have found myself wrestling with that exact question. It seems as though God keeps bringing people my way who know of him but are no longer close to him. My natural tendency is to silently judge them for their waywardness while inwardly wondering if I should wait to associate with them until they get their lives back together. That’s not what Jesus did, though, is it?
God, help me see people as you see them. Give me the ability to look beyond the sin in their lives and see, instead, the love you have for them just as you have for me.
Greet every person with the love, gentleness, and compassion you yourself have received from Christ.
By Rick Thiessen
Used by Permission
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