Elevator speech

“The son of man has come to seek and save the lost.”

That was how Jesus summarized his work one day shortly before he was murdered.  He was sitting in the house of a rich man. He had invited himself over. The rich man had just committed half of his resourced to the poor. He had just pledged to return any money he had overcharged people. But he was giving back not just the overcharge but four times that amount.

It was a moment of extravagance that would benefit the whole community. Anyone who had paid taxes was starting to do the math in their heads. Anyone who was depending on the community food bank, especially widows and orphans, was feeling a glimmer of hope.

But Jesus wasn’t concerned with the community benefits. He was looking right at the rich man. And cheering. This rich man was turning his life around.

And it was an about face. Zacchaeus was a tax-collector. His riches came because he was a sinner. At least that’s what everyone in the town said when they fussed about Jesus going to his house.

I wonder whether Jesus was thinking about another rich man he had talked to just a page before. That man had come to Jesus wondering how to find life. He professed to having lived a completely obedient life. And Jesus told him to give everything he had to the poor. And the man walked away.

I think it wasn’t about the money. I mean, Zacchaeus wasn’t giving his all away. But he had come looking for Jesus. He had just wanted a glimpse. He climbed a tree to see.

It looks to me like if you are feeling lost, if nothing is working – even what works – and you look for him, Jesus finds you.

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