DL shared a message from Luke 19:1-10 today. The story of Zaccheus. A special story to me from a previous silent retreat – I remember a very good conversation with Sister Louisa on it after the visualisation. The story of Zaacheus yielded, amongst other things, the reminder that the Lord says, “I have called You by name; You are Mine.”
Hearing and reading the story of Zaccheus again today brought that back to mind, but also highlighted new lessons. The Bible is indeed the Living Word! 🙂
Today I saw in the same story, Zaccheus’ handicaps. Sure, he was a man of small stature. In order to gain a vision of the Lord, he climbed a sycamore-fig tree. But I think his handicap went beyond that. Where did Zaccheus come in from?
Possibly from a lifestyle of striving to get whatever he could, yet not being satisfied. Rich, but poor.
Possibly from a state of great desperation, insecurity and thirst, which drove him to go up a tree. Small man, big need.
Possibly from being torn down spiritually and despised by people around him, for he was “a sinner” – in an influential post of an occupation known for extortion. So much for a man whose name meant ‘pure’. High position, but lowly esteemed and buried in shame.
“Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” (v.5)
God’s full knowledge, grace and restoration stands in stark contrast to all those handicaps. Jesus knew Zaccheus fully, forgave Zaccheus completely, and drew Zaccheus into intimacy. Jesus told Zaccheus He must stay at his house – referring perhaps not just to a physical dwelling, but also the dishonorable rooms of Zaccheus’ heart.
“The Lord’s perfect knowledge is clearly shown in this case. He knew not only the name of the man in the sycamore tree, but the state of his heart.” – J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House), p. 295.
Today’s revisiting of the Zaccheus story reminded me of Braveheart’s words yesterday. Overcoming by letting go. Being made whole by releasing brokenness. Walking freely by being captive – all His and only His alone.
“I have called you by name; You are mine.”
It is good to come back to the story of Zaccheus.