TUESDAY, JUNE 18
Scripture: Luke 19:1-9
In Luke 19:1-9 we find Jesus singling out a man named Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector and he was very rich. He added more to people’s tax bills and consistently cheated others to gain personal wealth. He was short in stature and had to climb up a tree in order to see Jesus. When Jesus walked by, He looked up and spoke to him by name. Jesus said, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” The Bible says Zacchaeus “…received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, ‘He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.’’ That created quite a stir among the Jewish people. They knew Zacchaeus and they knew what he did. Zacchaeus said, ‘Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” Jesus responded, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” I bet the happiest disciple of all was Matthew because he alone had to bear the stigma of being a tax collector. And all of a sudden Jesus embraced and forgave Zacchaeus too who was likely far worse than Matthew. Jesus consistently pursued those who were disqualified and rejected by the mainstream. Jesus often embraced people who were flawed, misunderstood, misguided and misjudged and proceeded to anoint them to confound the wise. That is a principle by which God works!