1 Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town.
2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus.
He was the chief tax collector in the region,
and he had become very rich.
3 He tried to get a look at Jesus,
but he was too short to see over the crowd.
4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road,
for Jesus was going to pass that way.
5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name.
"Zacchaeus!" he said. "Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today."
6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.
7 But the people were displeased.
"He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner," they grumbled.
8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said,
"I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord,
and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!"
9 Jesus responded, "Salvation has come to this home today,
for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham.
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost."
Sometimes I wonder if we forget why Jesus came to earth.
He didn't come to gather into His club all the “good” people.
His mission wasn't to validate & accentuate the righteousness of smug white, middle class evangelicals.
Somehow I find it hard to believe He came to make even more comfortable the comfortable.
He came for “notorious sinners”, which were & are the last people we think He should seek out.
He should focus more on people like us – people who follow Him & live quasi-righteous lives.
I think we all tend to forget that before Jesus came into our lives, we ALL were (& are) “notorious sinners”.
And before any of us get all huffy at that statement, think about what everyone would think of ANY of us if each & every thought &/or deed we have ever had or done were displayed for everyone to see & judge.
That would not be a pretty thing for any of us.
The older I get, the more impressed I am with how sinful I am.
Let's face it – Jesus came to save all of us because we ALL were trapped in our “notoriously sinful” lives & needed Him to give us a way out.
Just because we've read the Bible through a few of times, & gone to a few Christian retreats & thrown ourselves over the altar like a sack of feed, & gone on 1 overseas mission trip where we spent the last full day there on the beach, doesn't mean we've somehow gotten past the fact that before we hooked up with Jesus we not only needed to be rescued from our sinful selves, but that we still need to be rescued from that same sinful self every single day since.
We're all just “notorious sinners” saved by grace.