Luke 19:1-10 New Living Translation (NLT)
Well, friends, it is nice to be back writing daily reflections and devotions this week. My assistant, Jennifer, has carried the Light of the Word in excellence during my brief recovery. My eyes and vision continue to improve and the swelling from my outpatient surgery is now very minimal. I praise God who has held me, healed me, and caused me to rest. This week, I have been able to “see over the crowd” of worldly cares and physical challenges to find Jesus waiting to share fellowship with me. Do you know how much Jesus enjoys spending time with you?
In our lesson today from the gospel of Luke, we meet a character familiar to most believers: Zacchaeus—the little man from Jericho who wants to see Jesus so badly he positions himself in a tree in order to “see over the crowd.” We may not be able to choose our physical height, but like Zacchaeus every person can position himself or herself to “see over the crowd.” It takes wanting to see the Savior; it takes making a commitment to walk in what Scripture teaches is newness of life. When a person is born from above, character changes reveal that commitment. No longer is this temporal world our focus; now we are able to see eternal realities. Real life opens up for us in Christ. Zacchaeus reveals he has been born of the Spirit by the joy he experiences in his connection to Christ and the changes he gladly makes in order to reveal the glory of his new Master. Simply, you know when you are born of the Spirit; you want Jesus more than you want the world…
Luke 19:1-10 Jesus and Zacchaeus
19 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.”
Prayer: Lord, thank you for opening my eyes to see eternal realities; helping me see over the crowd. Ignite my spirit with joy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.