Today we’re going to talk about a dude named Zacchaeus found in Luke 19:1-10. Zacchaeus was a punk. Actually Zacchaeus was a punk among punks. Did you ever have those punk kids in your neighborhood who would run around and do hood rat stuff? Well Zacchaeus was kind of like the leader of the neighborhood hood rat kids. He was a chief tax collector which means he would go around collecting taxes for the Roman government, but Zacchaeus was Jew, so really he’s a traitor working for the Romans who had just conquered the Jews. Amidst being a traitor, he was also a thief because when he was collecting taxes he would overcharge the Jews just to gain a little more income for himself.
So to sum up what I just said, Zacchaeus was a punk.
In this story we see Jesus doing His thang and preaching to a big crowd once again, and Zacchaeus wants to know what’s going on. Now Zacchaeus is short…real short…I always picture him as like an Ewok from Star Wars. So he goes and climbs up a Sycamore tree to see what Jesus is up to.
Then Jesus stops preaching. I can see Him just spitting fire at the crowd, then He just quits in the middle of His sentence because He notices Zacchaeus in the tree. After that Jesus says to him, “Zacchaeus, get down from that tree, I’m gonna crash at your pad today.”
This story is already getting pretty weird. First of all, Zacchaeus is a punk…I hope I’ve made that clear by now. And Jesus…well He’s Jesus…and is not a punk. So why would this rad dude want to hang out with this punk? I know I wouldn’t step one hundred feet from this guys house! People judged Jesus for going, and I know they’d judge me too.
Now the story goes on and Jesus is just chilling in Zacchaeus house with a bunch of his friends. At this time Jesus is probably doing his thang again, you know preaching and spitting fire to the punks. And this is the coolest part, Zacchaeus ends up saying this, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
A few moments with Jesus can change a persons life. I know it changed mine, and I know it changed Zacchaeus, and I know it can change yours.
I look at Zacchaeus in this story and I realize that Zacchaeus…that’s us. Not in the sense that we stole money from people and we were all once neighborhood hood rats, but we were all once punks. Some of us, like me, were punks among punks. We were all once leaning on our own understanding, doing our own things, putting something or someone else in front of God. We did things to benefit ourselves. We all once didn’t belong. We were outsiders, outcasts, wanting to be on our own, and wanting to do things on our own.
But then Jesus came and pulled us in.
We don’t deserve Jesus. We don’t deserve to be apart of His family. We don’t even belong in the same sentence as Him, but that’s the beauty of our God.
We don’t deserve Jesus, but Jesus still wants us. And He’s always going to want us. He wanted us to belong to His family from the beginning, He wants us to belong to His family now, and He will forever want us to belong to His family. We don’t deserve to belong, but Jesus wants us to belong.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:27, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
God knows you, God loves you, and you belong to His family. Everyone who believes in Jesus is part of the body of Christ. Anyone can belong, but it’s your choice whether you want to or not.
I know we’ve all been in situation where we don’t feel like we fit in. I know we’ve all felt like outcasts. I know we’ve all felt like we were on the outside. But Jesus wants you in. He wanted me, He wanted Zacchaeus, and He wants you. He’s always wanted you and He’s never going to stop wanting you.
And if you already know that then share this news with someone who doesn’t. Go be the Jesus in someone else’s home. Go love on the unlovable. Go show the world that they belong to Christ! And remember, a few moments with Jesus can change a persons life.
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Love you dudes, but more importantly, Jesus loves you dudes.