Sunday Scripture

Luke 19

Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
 1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
 5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
 8 But 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.”
 9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Notice verse 7. He has gone to the house of a sinner. This is a pretty important verse for the modern church I think. I think we often get caught up in tradition and being religious. But, Jesus hung around with despised people and sinners, not religious people. Are we so stuck in tradition that we are forgetting who we are intended to serve? If the most despised person walked into the church today, how would you react? Would you welcome him with open arms? Would you turn away in disgust?

I was really moved by a message by the preacher at First Baptist Church of Cleveland, TN last Sunday on this passage and this topic (I listen to him every Sunday on the way to church). It really made me think about things. I will come back later and add the link to his message once I find it online.

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