What if being in right relationship with others was more important than being right?
(Listen to my song “All Are Welcome” on YouTube by clicking HERE)
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”
The scripture identifies Zacchaeus as the chief tax collector who was very wealthy.
He would have been despised by the Jews.
Isn’t it interesting that Jesus keeps associating with the wrong people?
Why isn’t he shunning such people?
Jesus sees the basic good in everyone because everyone is a child of God.
Jesus actually practices what he preaches: He loves his neighbor; He loves his enemies; He doesn’t scapegoat and demonize anyone.
That doesn’t mean he approves of their behavior.
But he wants to remain in relationship with them if possible.
Zacchaeus had heard of Jesus and there must have been an inkling inside his heart that he needed to check him out.
So, since Zacchaeus was short and couldn’t get to the front of the crowd, he climbed a tree.
Jesus could have given Zacchaeus the cold shoulder when he noticed him peering down from above. It would have served him right…right?
This would have been a form of retributive justice.
But then Zacchaeus may have gone on living the same unjust life.
Jesus was about restorative justice.
So he reached out to the tax collector…not with self-righteous indignation but with nonjudgmental acceptance.
And it was then…after being met with unconditional love…that Zacchaeus vowed to change his ways.
We are called to follow Jesus’ example.
Listen to the song of the day “All Are Welcome” on the Give Praise and Thanks album by clicking HERE.
Stream and/or purchase my songs on iTunes by clicking HERE.
Remember…God loves you!