During this LEARNING TO HEAR series I’m taking a different approach to these devotionals. I want to us work harder at searching the scriptures for ourselves. We will use the ‘Come to Jesus Daily’ method below to help us with this. It’s well worth the hard work involved!
‘Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”’ (Luke 19:1-7)
I’ve included my reflections on today’s text below. However, I encourage you to pray and spend time reflecting (writing can be helpful) using the 5 questions below before reading my thoughts.
i. †GOSPEL - 'Gaze on the cross'- What does this text reveal about salvation through Jesus?
ii. UP – What does this text say about God – His worth, character, attributes, will, promises…?
iii. IN – What does this say about me, the church and how we are to relate? Is there a promise to believe, command to do, attitude to have, something to avoid, is there forgiveness to seek or give?
iv. OUT – What does this say about my community and mission?
v. DO - This has two components. Firstly, list as many possible ways that you can think of that one might apply the text (actions or attitudes). Secondly, hear - Pray about how the Holy Spirit is leading you, specifically, to respond.
MY REFLECTIONS (BASED UPON A CONTRIBUTION IN OUR SUNDAY MEETING)
Zacchaeus was a rich man but he wanted something that riches could not resolve. He wanted to see Jesus, but Jesus surpasses his expectations. A little move toward God results in Him doing the unimaginable in our lives. He was despised and he knew how others felt about him but he wanted to see Jesus. Jesus not only sees him, but he invites himself to his home. Jesus is prepared to be shamed for the sake of this undeserving sinner. If we put our ‘mustard seed’ faith in Christ, He comes and lives in the home of our lives. He makes a home with us. He forgives and dwells in us.
God sees us at all times, even when we are far from Him. Jesus sees us in our spiritual thirst. It doesn’t matter how despised people are, Jesus is prepared to be at home with anyone who will receive Him.
Zacchaeus responds in a radical fashion to the mercy of Jesus,
‘Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”’ (Luke 7:8-10)