What Jesus Said to a Con Man
Topic: Biblical Scripture: Luke 19:1–19:10
Zacchaeus, a wealthy man who had extorted money from his neighbors was encountered by Jesus in the ancient town of Jericho. Our of curiosity he wants to see what the buzz is about Jesus; he wanted to know who he was.
Jesus sees him and calls him by name. Rather than endorse his sin or condemn him for it Jesus simply decides to come over to his house. By entering his life Jesus did not stand with the crowd that hated Zacchaeus nor was he content to leave the man with a greedy heart that ripped off his countrymen.
Jesus' identification with Zacchaeus brought life change and transformation to him. God's grace and kindness to him led him to repentance. Jesus' purpose is to neither endorse our false gods and the things we worship, nor did he come to throw sinners under the bus. He wants to enter our lives, forgive us and make us different people.
Jesus purpose is clear - he came to seek and to save that which was lost. Including men like Zacchaeus who were far from God and despised by others.
Questions for Community Meditation
- Read Luke 18 and 19 together this week. How do the stories in chapter 18 prepare you to hear and read the story of Zacchaeus?
- Is it easy for you to forget that rich, rip off artists are human beings too?
- What do you think that nice, upstanding, religious people thought of Jesus going over to Zaccheus’ house? Does Jesus care about his reputation? In what ways should you care about yours? In what ways should you not care what people think?
- Are you a religious person who loves to complain about what everyone else is doing?
- If you are a Christian, do you ever hang out with people far from God? How can you “go to their house” to know them and share good news?
- Why is it important to know how God treats us when we sin?
- Read Luke 17:11-19 for next week.