We’re having a wonderful Wednesday! Today is a good day to take hold of life that’s life. I’ll explain that in a minute.
Now, Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he! That Vacation Bible School song will remain stuck in my head for the rest of my life.
Yes, Zacchaeus was a wee little man but he was much more, he also was horrid…like the girl with the curl on her forehead. He was a contract collector for the Roman government and he literally had a license to steal.
Whatever Zacchaeus collected above what the Roman government required, he was allowed to keep. He was a traitor to his family. He was probably hated by even his grandmother.
One day, Jesus came to town. We are told Zacchaeus was short so he climbed a tree to see our Lord. Jesus saw him up there, told him to come down and they’d go to dinner at Zacchaeus’ house.
In this interaction, Zacchaeus repented and told the Lord, “I give half my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” [Luke 19:8]
Don’t you just love Zacchaeus’ use of the word “if?” He must have been a comedian too. He knew full well he had cheated countless folks.
The bottom line though, was that he did repent. If we contrast Zacchaeus’ story with that of the rich young ruler [Matthew 9:21], we get a very different end to the story.
The rich, young man wanted to know what it would take to have eternal life. Jesus told him to go and sell all of his possessions and give them to the poor. Then, he would have treasure in heaven. We are told the man went away sad because he was very rich.
Zacchaeus repented. The rich young ruler did not.
Zacchaeus took hold of life that was life. The rich young ruler did not.
Most days, I suspect we are the rich young ruler. Consumer Reports was featured in the news because their upcoming automobile edition is soon to be released. The news people interviewed the editor yesterday and everyone was drooling over the new Ford Mustang featured in the magazine.
Next year’s models will always be awaiting us. So will the next generation smart phone, wireless service providers who want us to marry them for a two-year commitment and that endless vacation in paradise.
Who wouldn’t want this stuff? But here is the rub, ask anyone in the short rows of life if any of this stuff ever satisfied them and I can promise the most likely answer will be a resounding, “No!”
Paul put a fine point on the matter in his first letter to Timothy, “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so they may take hold of the ‘life that is truly life.’” [1 Timothy 6:18-19]
Today is a good day to take hold of life that is truly life. Grab on to what is truly important and hang on to it!
Just some thoughts for a Wednesday!