Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Christian Perspective

- Keith Goudie -

The story of Zacchaeus the wealthy chief tax collector of Jericho is one of the most fascinating stories in the Gospels. A combination of factors – Jesus’ need to pass through the town and the curiosity of Zacchaeus brought about an encounter that changed Zacchaeus forever. His handicap – shortness of stature – proved an asset because it made him climb a tree. And climbing that tree brought him face to face with Jesus.

The account says: When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”

Zacchaeus was no longer just one of the crowd; he was a person in whom Christ was interested.

Something must have sprung to life within Zacchaeus as the Master spoke to him. Once in his home, Christ’s presence there had such a profound effect upon him that he decided to give half his possessions to the poor, and pay back to anyone he had cheated four times the amount he had taken. Why would he do that?

In Lloyd Douglas’s book The Robe, Jesus says to Zacchaeus: “Why are you promising to do this?” “Master, I looked into your eyes and saw there the Zacchaeus I was meant to be.” If only we could see others as Christ sees them. What a difference it would make to all our relationships. Who can we look to for help in this? None other than our Lord. “Follow Me,” He says to you and me, “and I will help you see others through My eyes…. to see people not as they are but as they can be.”

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