Thoughts: Jericho was the site of a customs station on a major trade route. Zacchaeus was employed by the Roman authorities to serve as chief tax collector in Jericho. Undoubtedly, Zacchaeus abused this position to enrich himself. He did not live up to the meaning of his name – pure, righteous.
But probably what most of us remember about Zacchaeus is that he was short. He may not have had a tall, dramatically attractive wife like Cher to remind him that he was short, but he knew it and found ways to compensate. So when Jesus was passing through Jericho, Zacchaeus climbed up a sycamore tree so that he could see Jesus.
When Jesus came to this sycamore tree, he stopped, looked up, and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, because I am coming to your house for dinner.” Zacchaeus scrambled down and, Luke says, received Jesus “joyfully.”
Once Jesus and Zacchaeus reached Zacchaeus’ home, Jesus did not reproach him. Jesus did not say, “Zacchaeus, I hear you’ve been collecting money unlawfully,” or “Zacchaeus, people call you a sinner.”
Zacchaeus did not wait to be accused. He didn’t try to defend himself. He made this pledge: “… the half of my goods I give to the poor….” Then, “… if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.” This was the traditional Old Testament restitution for theft.
Jesus said this generous restoration entitled Zacchaeus to be called a true son of Abraham. “This day is salvation come to this house.”
All of us are still blessed and comforted by Jesus’ concluding remark: “For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Discussion: What have we taken which we need to restore?
Activity: Welcome an unexpected guest into your home.
Remember in prayer this week Judy Conley, Eunice and Bill Kraase, Jim Kuszmaul, Robin Ostergaard, Mildred Parker, Sally Schaper and Tom Stevens.
This Thursday is the Advance Directives Program at 7:00pm hosted by HealthPros and Connections. Bring a friend, learn about having your end-of-life decisions ahead of time.
Next Sunday is All Saints’ Day. We will be remembering those who have passed away during this year.
Sunday afternoon is Trick or Trunk hosted by our youth. We begin with games in the Christian Life Center at 2:00pm followed by a parade and Trick or Treating at3:00pm in the parking lot.
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UNITED METHODIST SPECIAL SUNDAYS:
These are the days that our worldwide United Methodist churches take offerings for special projects for our worldwide church.