Friday, October 29, 2010

Jesus came for this small man Luke 19:1-10

About 10 years ago, when I was fresh from seminary, a group of 4 7th and 8th graders joined me reading the Gospel of Mark.  As we read we got some very clear ideas in our imaginations about what different people in the gospels were like.  
One of the most interesting groups of people to imagine were the tax collectors.  Every kid in that group could sing a little ditty about a tax collector, "Zacchaeus as a we little man..."  But somehow that song didn't capture the full revulsion that people felt towards men like Zacchaeus.  
As we visited about tax collectors I encouraged the group to imagine a tough violent man as Zacchaeus.  We imagined a small gangster similar in size and attitude to Joe Pesci's character in Goodfellas.  He might have been small but his size wasn't an obstacle to his violent attempts to control others.  The same probably could be said for Zacchaeus.
How far can God's love go?Zaccheus was not a beloved member of the community.  Hearing the good news of Jesus' reaching out towards a man like him ought to still shake us when we're sitting in the seat of the Pharisee's.  Jesus was reaching for a man who had been written-off but who was not too far gone for God's reach.  May all who search for God hear the Good News that God's reaching waiting to enter into their lives.

Pax, John.

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