I always sign my blog with the tagline Life is Good…and indeed it is. All of us will at one time or another find a rough road, some bad times and truthfully the degree is never the same from one person to another person. Bumps like potholes come in all sizes and to navigate them requires knowledge, attention and avoiding those roads in life that they seem to be more prevalent on. To travel the Christian Road does not guarantee a smooth ride but the destination is worth the effort. What is important is that all of us will at various times in our lives find ourselves out on that preverbal limb, or subject to Murphy’s Law, the truth is the real reason being we made bad a decision…it’s human nature to avoid two thing whenever possible…responsibility and discipline and that brings us to this point… ‘Zacchaeus! Hurry and come down! for this very day I must stay at your house.’ On the surface a reasonable request if you are aware of the context in which it is said and by whom and to whom. I love the stories of the Bible and I particularly enjoy going beyond the words or to quote Paul Harvey getting the Rest of The Story.

As the story goes Jesus was passing through Jericho and there he encountered a man named Zacchaeus. This man was the Commissioner of taxes, and he was rich. Now Zacchaeus knew who Jesus was and wanted to see him but being short in stature didn’t help and the crowd that had gathered knew him only as the commissioner of taxes, and  that he was rich and they disliked him intensely. This intense dislike made going among the crowd a bit risky. Zacchaeus was a quick thinker and ran ahead of the crowd and climbed up into a sycamore tree, not to tall but stout with strong sturdy limbs…easy to climb and there he waited to see Jesus. Jericho was one of the greatest taxation centers in Palestine. Give Zacchaeus credit, he was good at what he did. He had reached the top of his profession but with that distinction he was the most hated man in the district. Consider these things…Yes he was wealthy but he was not happy. He was a lonely because the path he chose had made him an outcast. Zacchaeus was determined to see Jesus, and would not let anything stop him. From other readings because of his stature he could not see Jesus because most of the people were taller than him and the crowd took delight in making sure of that. Written accounts say that this tree was a good source of shade and provided a nice spot to stop for a moment, catch you breath and maybe visit a moment. Jesus saw him out on that limb and thus came Jesus’ invitation….

‘Zacchaeus! Hurry and come down! for this very day I must stay at your house.’ 

What an opportunity to change his life! Zacchaeus, to his credit saw this and had no intention of letting it go by. He took steps to show all the community that he was a changed man. In Jesus he had found a new and wonderful friend. We must understand that on this day and upon this house came forgiveness, salvation and restoration from evil ways. It is followed by a wonderful and gracious act of restitution and the fact that in his restitution he went far beyond what was legally necessary. A testimony such as this must contain sincere contrition. Jesus is not looking for a change of words but rather a change of life. Some words to bring this story to a close. “The Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.”  Being lost is not meant to mean doomed or damned. It is more about being in the wrong place. Zacchaeus knew of Jesus, and went looking for him…He sought out Jesus and got to the right place in his life. Are you in the right place with God?

Life is Good

jk