When a wealthy man got through the needle’s eye -Tuesday, 33rd week in ordinary time – Luke 19:1-10

Jesus enters Jericho on his way to Jerusalem. For many, Jericho was a pit stop, the last one before heading on to Jerusalem. But this is no ordinary city. Jericho which is below sea level was amongst the largest cities of ancient Israel. It was a centre of trade, commerce, business, industry and agriculture. It had been a very important city for many generations. In fact, well before the time of Christ, the Romans knew and valued the city of Jericho. Marc Antony once gave the city of Jericho to Cleopatra as a gift. King Herod built a summer palace there as well as a stadium for horse racing and chariot racing.

In this city lived Zacchaeus. The name “Zacchaeus” means the “righteous one,” but apparently Zacchaeus wasn’t living up to his namesake. Rather, he was known around town as a “notorious sinner.” Zacchaeus was a government contractor with the Roman Government in charge of all transported goods into Jericho, which gave him almost a license to extort money for big commissions. Tax collectors were greedy extortioners and most Jews would have considered Zacchaeus a traitor,

Into this town enters Jesus and Zacchaeus is curious to see who this man is. Zacchaeus not only climbs a tree he goes out on a limb, literally and metaphorically. Just the sight of Zacchaeus out in public without his Roman security could have put his life in danger. So why does he seek to see Jesus? Perhaps he had heard about a fellow tax collector who had been called by Jesus whose name was Levi, also known as Matthew. Perhaps he had heard about the healing of Bartimaeus.

In any case Zacchaeus climbs a tree to see the Lord only to be seen by the Lord. While the people of the city saw his as a traitor, in the eyes of Jesus he was a lost sinner in need of a Saviour. Jesus calls this chief tax collector by name. “Zacchaeus, come down; for I must stay at your house today.” There is both intentionality and urgency in Jesus’ summons

Spread the love ♥
Continue Reading