Read Luke 19:1-10
What does the story of Zacchaeus say to us?
- The Romans used local Jews to collect their taxes and they were among the most hated people in all of Israel – because they were seen to be helping the Romans.
- However, as long as they were getting their own money, the Romans were happy to turn a blind eye to the tax collectors lining their own pockets at the same time.
- We are told Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector which probably meant he had a little more status than others – but also probably meant that he was more ruthless in his collecting.
- It also probably meant that he was more crooked and as a consequence wealthier.
- Yet despite all this Jesus called on Zacchaeus and invited Himself to dinner at his house – to the anger and dismay of the crowd.
- Considered a sinner and an outcast by everyone else, still Jesus loved him as he did others.
Can we say that we love all people in the same way – is our love as unconditional as Jesus love was?
- The moment he met Jesus, Zacchaeus knew his life needed to be sorted out, he knew he had to change – and he did.
- At once he promised to give to the poor and make restitution for his wrong doing.
- He didn’t just say he would follow Jesus, by his actions and behavior Zacchaeus demonstrated that he wanted to do so.
Do we demonstrate our faith by our actions? Have we changed our ways since coming to know Jesus? Would that change be obvious to others?
Read Luke 19:11-27
What do we learn from this parable?
- The people still hoped for a Messiah who would overthrow the Romans but this parable shows that now was not the time for Jesus to establish His Kingdom once and for all,
- He would first have to leave them and in that time His disciples would have to be faithful and fruitful in their own discipleship.
God has given us all gifts for the building up of His Kingdom here and now, but how do we use them? Do we have enough faith to use them to try to help the Kingdom grow? Or are we too fearful to trust in God to enable us to do so? Which of the servants are we most like?
This concludes our study of Luke’s Gospel but just one final thought. Remember why Luke wrote this book in the first place. That his friend Theophilus might know the full truth about Jesus Christ – The World’s Only Hope!