Scripture Reading: Luke 19:1-10
Zacchaeus , a man of short statute ran ahead of the crowd and climbed a tree so he could see Jesus and avoid the crowd at the same time since he was a despised chief tax-collector.
Jesus looked up into the tree and saw Zacchaeus. Jesus called him by name, and then invited Himself to his house for a meal. Notice, it was not Zacchaeus who invited Jesus to his house for a meal.
Zacchaeus was delighted, but the crowds were very unhappy about this because Zacchaeus was a tax-collector, a great sinner. “They all began to grumble, saying, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner’” (Luke 19:7). Jesus had no problem eating with a sinner. After all, that was the purpose of God sending Him to earth.
The life application of this story about Jesus associating with certain people, including sinners, indicates to us that God chose to associate with and to save this man whom He knew to be an unworthy sinner. The others were angry, because they did not see themselves as sinners, but as the righteous. Understand that Jesus came to save those who are unworthy, those who are sinners. That is the message of the Gospel.
Think back to a time when you have deliberately stayed away from sinners. Ask God to help you love the sinner but not the sin.
You are invited to read and meditate on the Lenten lesson for Day 26.