Change of Heart

We’re continuing our study of the building blocks. Have you completed your Soul Care Plan for 2018?  .Soul Care Plan Link Today’s topic is building block “D”, for Discipleship Decision.

Today’s scripture: Luke 19:1-10 (NRSV) (NRSV) (The Message) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Steve Adams):

You know how refreshing it is to deal with someone who has a deep, genuine, and humble respect for others? Zacchaeus seems to be this type of person.

Think of all the good things he committed to do when he met Jesus! To me, the fact that he resolved to give half of his goods to the poor means he realized that his wealth didn’t make him better than everyone else. There seems to be humility there: he must have realized that the poor weren’t inferior to him; they just hadn’t been as fortunate.

Likewise his restitution policy: I think it would be admirable if he had decided to simply pay back in full those he accidentally slighted, but four times the amount? He must have had lots of respect for all the hard work another’s earnings represent. And, in order to make this pledge, he had to be prepared to do something that’s very difficult for most people: he had to be willing to admit mistakes! Just imagine — from that moment on, every single time he accidentally overcharged someone, he had to admit the error. That’s not an easy thing to do, but necessary if he was to be a disciple.

Jesus drew Zacchaeus unto Him, but something amazing happened here. Zacchaeus also drew Jesus unto him! I think when he saw that little man in the Sycamore tree, Jesus saw big faith — someone who was willing to sacrifice himself in order to follow Jesus and be just and fair in dealing with others. This willingness and desire seems to be such a big part of what Jesus asks of those who want to follow Him.

Did Zacchaeus have things to learn after becoming a disciple? I’m sure he did. I’m sure he stumbled at times, like we all do, and needed forgiveness for the sins he committed. But, he certainly had a great foundation to build on!

Thought for the day: The people who dealt with Zacchaeus after his encounter with Jesus must have felt like we do when we find a mechanic who fixes our car for $50 when the charge could have been $500 — and we would have never known the difference! How can I be like that to others?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.