I have shared this on Facebook before, but I feel like it is a message worth repeating.
There are lots and lots of people in the Bible and very many of their life stories are listed for us. I have quite a few that are favorites because they teach us of the goodness of God. There’s one simple story during Jesus’ ministry that always strikes me though. And it sticks with me and warms my heart, but also convicts me.
There was a man who lived in Jericho who was despised by everyone. He was lavishly wealthy primarily because as a Hebrew tax collector for the Roman government, he stole money from his Jewish brothers and padded his own pockets. One day, Jesus was passing through Jericho and the crowds came out to see Jesus as He came into town.
being a short man, wanted a glimpse of Jesus but couldn’t see above the throng, so he climbed up a nearby Sycamore tree. As Jesus came through the streets, He parted the crowd and walked straight way to that tree. Ignoring the gasps and snarls of the people of the city, He told the most hated man there that He should come on down out of that tree and go home and prepare a meal, because Jesus would be dining there that evening. This flew all over the religious crowd. Jesus was scandalous in his love for broken people. He sought the ones who needed him the most. His love and lack of disdain for them chipped through their hardened hearts and changed them.
After Zaccheaus met with Jesus, he gave back all of the money he had stolen multiplied by 4. Who does that? Someone who has felt the love of God and been transformed by it! This evil, broken world will not be changed by our disdain and pious attitudes. But it will be changed by displaying the love of God in his Son Jesus through loving people who seem to least deserve it.
Love Big Today!!!