#DailyDevotion Jesus Is Rude & No Gentleman
Luke 19He went into Jericho and was passing through it. 2Here there was a man by the name of Zacchaeus. He was an overseer of tax collectors and was rich. 3He was trying to see what kind of person Jesus was, but being a small man, he couldn’t see Him on account of the crowd. 4So he ran ahead and climbed up a fig-mulberry tree to see Him, because Jesus was coming that way. 5When Jesus came to the place, He looked up. “Zacchaeus, hurry down,” He told him. “Today I must stay at your home.” 6He hurried down and was happy to welcome Him. 7But all who saw them started to grumble: “He went to be the guest of a sinful man.” 8Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, half of my property I’m giving to the poor, and if I’ve cheated anyone, I’m paying him back four times as much.” 9“Today salvation has come to this home,” Jesus told him, “since he too is a son of Abraham. 10The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.”
Jesus is so rude. He just doesn’t wait to be invited into people’s homes. He just invites himself. Jesus is no gentlemen, contrary to a lot of false teaching out there. We see that in today’s text. Sure, Zacchaeus, hero to all short people, was interested in seeing Jesus. It was idle curiosity as far as we can tell. What’s really interesting about Zacchaeus is being the chief tax collector for Jericho, you’d think he’d just get his guards to clear a way for him. But perhaps being short all his life, he just did what short people do, plan and execute a way. So he runs a head and climbs a tree. Well he wanted to see what kind a person Jesus was. He was going to find out.
Jesus invites himself and his entourage over to Zacchaeus’ house to stay there. Jesus didn’t wait for an invitation. He didn’t even engage him in conversation first. He knows who Zacchaeus is, a chief tax collector for the city and a sinner. Tax collectors were pretty notoriously bad people for several reasons. 1. They worked for the enemy i.e. Romans collecting taxes. 2. They made a lot of money collecting more than was required by Rome (Rome still paid them for the correct amount of taxes collected). 3. They used heavy hands i.e. henchmen in collecting taxes (you’ve seen Robin Hood I hope). They were not usually kind and merciful like our own IRS agents at times (I’ve heard there are some that try to work with you). So this isn’t someone respectable who Jesus should be hanging out with.
Yet, Jesus in a rude fashion invites himself over. Zacchaeus is thrilled to have Jesus over. He was happy and welcomed Jesus, after all, Jesus is a famous rabbi and now Jesus is his guest. But idle curiosity and fanfare aside, Jesus never goes anywhere without teaching. Jesus intended to teach his gospel, his good news to Zacchaeus and his household and he does. In the midst of this teaching Zacchaeus gets up and declares, “Look, Lord, half of my property I’m giving to the poor, and if I’ve cheated anyone, I’m paying him back four times as much.” Now fourfold restitution was required by the Law of Moses. This would be for those extra taxes he collected for himself, most likely. He could have cheated people in other ways. Then he also offers up half his possessions to the poor. The gospel has done its work on Zacchaeus. The Holy Spirit converted his heart and circumcised by Jesus’ teaching. He sees and believes there is a life to come in Jesus and acts accordingly.
Today salvation has come to Zacchaeus’ house for he too was a son of Abraham. The Lord Jesus came to save the Jews first and then the Gentiles. Jesus invited himself into Zacchaeus’ heart and made his home there. It is Jesus who seeks us out and saves us lost people. He doesn’t ask us permission to come into our hearts. He doesn’t wait for our invitation or acceptance. With the forgiveness of sins he just invites himself into the center of our being and brings salvation to our homes. He has forgiven you of your sins for free. He has paid your debt. He has carried your shame. He has given you everything that his and restored you over and above your wildest dreams in his kingdom.
Heavenly Father, open up our hearts that we may receive the Lord Jesus Christ into our homes, believe on his name and have salvation rest upon us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.