Daily reading: Luke 18:31-19:10
Friday, April 7, 2017

 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through town. A man there named Zacchaeus, a ruler among tax collectors, was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but, being a short man, he couldn’t because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When Jesus came to that spot, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, come down at once. I must stay in your home today.” So Zacchaeus came down at once, happy to welcome Jesus.
Everyone who saw this grumbled, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
Zacchaeus stopped and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my possessions to the poor. And if I have cheated anyone, I repay them four times as much.”
Jesus said to him, “Today, salvation has come to this household because he too is a son of Abraham. 10  The Human One came to seek and save the lost.” (Luke 19:1-10)

The Common English Bible translates the passage in a way that is more true to the Greek, which has Zacchaeus sharing with Jesus, after getting away from the grumbling crowd, into his home that he already gives half of his possessions to the poor and that in the moment when he realizes that he cheats someone, he repays them four times as much.

So perhaps Zacchaeus isn’t the only one lost in the story.  While he longs to be seen and accepted by the members of his community, his community has pushed him to the outside and refuses to see who he is.

We can see it play out.  As the excitement stirs and the streets become full of people all eager to see Jesus and his disciples pass by, this guy Jesus, who just restored sight to a blind man, they make sure that Zacchaeus isn’t able to see by blocking his view, not realizing that they have also blinded themselves to this man who embodies generosity from seeing Jesus.

When Jesus sees Zacchaeus, the crowd is forced to see him as well.  It is in this moment that salvation is realized.

Salvation is about liberation from all sorts of oppression.  It happens when we can see one another and love one another as children of God.

Prayer: God, allow me to be seen.  Help me to let go of what I need to let go of.  Help me to seek your forgiveness and move forward.  Help me to see my family, my friends, my community.  The people I would rather not see and love, the people I have judged unworthy, help me to see them and break my heart so you can put it back together.  Amen.


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