Zacchaeus wasn't exactly the most popular man in town, but that didn't seem to stop Jesus from visiting his house. In fact, in those days the tax collectors were the most hated people around because they made a living by legally "stealing" from their peers. Head tax collectors (like Zacchaeus) bought the right from Rome to impose taxes on others. Essentially the head tax collector paid the taxes for everyone, and he had the freedom to charge whatever he wanted when he went to collect. Instead of collecting the $100 that your taxes actually cost, he would collect $150. Since Tax Day is coming soon, we can all understand why people hated the tax collectors. That's why it was so shocking for those watching when Jesus stopped and invited himself over to Zacchaeus' house. Jesus knew something that we have a hard time understanding in our "get it now" culture: relationships take time. But Jesus didn't just give time to Zacchaeus; He also gave acceptance. For Jesus to have eaten a meal with this man revealed that Jesus accepted him for who he was with no strings attached. We are tempted to criticize Jesus' actions, but we can't miss the truth of what happened: Zacchaeus repented from his sin and turned to God. Jesus didn't beat Zacchaeus with a Bible and tell him how much he sinned; Zacchaeus already knew that. Jesus simply gave his time and his unconditional acceptance. As I was posting this entry I remembered a sermon I gave our high school students on this subject but never posted here on the blog… so now it's added. You can go to the blog entry by CLICKING HERE and then download the sermon from there if you're interested in hearing more.
You are here: / / It takes time (Luke 18:15-19:48)
Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.