Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘Zacchaeus’

Two on the Fringes of Society

Two men, each on the fringes of society, were stationed along the road one day in Jericho when Jesus passed by.  And they were never the same again.

Both of them wanted to “see” Jesus, but both had a problem.  Bartimaeus couldn’t see Jesus because he was blind.  Zacchaeus couldn’t see Jesus because he was too short to see over the crowds. 

Bartimaeus was destitute, handicapped, pitied, helpless.  But not stupid.  He had heard about this miracle-worker, so when he heard that “Jesus of Nazareth” was passing by, he recognized who this really was:  the Messiah, Son of David!  And this was his big chance.  He was not going to be put off.  “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  And He did!  Bartimaeus was healed and joined the crowds of excited people following Jesus, praising Him even more because of this miracle.  Bartimaeus’ life was totally changed from that moment. 

As the procession continued through the city, it passed Zacchaeus, a powerful and wealthy man who had two handicaps.  He was short, and everyone hated him!   He had climbed a tree in order to overcome the first of these problems and see Jesus!  This time, it was Jesus who initiated the contact, stopping right under “his” tree and inviting Himself to Zac’s place for dinner, much to his delight!  And the crowd?  They turned from praising Jesus to criticizing Him for associating with a public enemy: a cheating tax collector who had fattened his purse at their expense.  But again, Jesus’ touch on this man’s life completely transformed him.  By the time He left the house, Zacchaeus had been so changed that he vowed to restore four times as much to everyone he had cheated, plus to give half his possessions to the poor. 

Has Jesus’ touch changed your life? 

What happens when Jesus comes?  Listen here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8-ixOyO0TM

A Tale of Two Rich Men

This morning, the proximity of two well-known Bible stories caught my eye.  Two rich men who sought Jesus out.  The first approaches with an apparently sincere inquiry of what it would take to get eternal life.  But as it turns out, eternal life wasn’t high enough on his priority list to pay the price: exchanging it all for a life with Jesus. So he goes away sad

Just a couple of paragraphs later, Zacchaeus was so determined to see Jesus that he made a spectacle of himself by climbing a tree to ensure a good view.  He was also very wealthy, though his reputation wasn’t so sterling as the other man–a swindler and traitor.  But he ends up joyfully giving away everything to the poor and those he has cheated.  Furthermore, he obtained the very thing that the other man had claimed to seek as Jesus exclaimed,  “Salvation has come to this home today!”

Score:  Wealth + sadness   VS.   eternal life + joy + blessing.                        Who got the better deal?

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?     Matthew 16: 24-26

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