Josprel's Articles of Faith - Entertained by a Sinner

Writer Author  Josprel (Joseph Perrello)
Christian Column : Devotionals  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer Luke 19

The physician Luke, traveling companion of the Apostle Paul, recorded a somewhat amusing account concerning the efforts of man named Zacchius – a detested Jewish tax collector for the occupying Roman forces – to see Jesus. However, the aftermath of the man’s endeavors was all but amusing.

In chapter 19 the physician wrote that, while passing through the city of Jericho, Jesus was followed by an enormous mass of people – many vying for his attention. Zacchius was among them striving to catch a glimpse of Jesus; however, since he was an extremely short man, the crowd frustrated his attempts. Short, nevertheless enterprising, the tax collector climbed a nearby Sycamore tree, hoping that in its branches his desire would be realized.

He was correct.

Luke recorded that in verse five, that “As Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him and said, ‘Hurry, down, Zacchius, because I must stay at your house today.’” (TEV)

Undoubtedly, many highly-esteemed persons were within that crowd also desirous for the Lord’s notice, yet He selected a person despised as a thief, a robber and an enemy collaborator.

Why would Jesus do something like this? He supplies the reason in verse ten: “. . . the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (TEV)

Jesus acknowledged Zacchius was lost, a sinner. He wanted to save him, but could not do so by rebuffing him; by refusing to offer him His fellowship. The purpose of Christ’s supreme mission on earth was this very thing – to save lost humanity, of whom Zacchius was one.

Some readers of this article may sense yourselves rejected by society. You feel friendless, dejected, despised and hopeless. Jesus Christ is seeking to save the likes of you. He compared His mission to a woman who lost a coin. To fine it she swept every area of her home, until the coin was located. So it is with the Savior. As He did with Zacchius, He continues to offer His fellowship to the very lowest of sinners – to those whom society acknowledges are lost - as well as to those whom the world considers respectable.

Sadly, some among the respected ranks of society tend to still react as did the critics of Jesus when he solicited the hospitality of Zacchius. “And when they [the people] saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner” (Luke 19:7; KJV). None are too low or too high to entertain the Lord. None are beyond His compass of rescue from sin.

Zacchius deserved the brand of a traitor. By Jewish law, he was worthy of death and deserved execution for collaborating with and collecting taxes for the Roman Empire, after it had conquered the Jews. Moreover, he cheated both by overtaxing his countrymen and embezzling the difference for himself. This is the sinner in whose home Christ requested hospitality!

Perhaps, while attempting to catch a glimpse of Jesus, the tax gatherer thought that one as pure and sinless as Jesus never would give attention to a traitorous collaborator as was he; undoubtedly, the mass of people thought the same. Jesus astounded them all, “. . . I must stay at your house today.’” (TEV)

The taxman’s reaction was immediate! He felt privileged, honored, that from among the entire crowd, he was selected to provide hospitality to the celebrated Jesus. “And he made haste and came down and received him joyfully.”

Christ Jesus continues to seek hospitality. From among earth’s teeming population, He is asking you to open the door of your heart to receive Him. Hear His call for hospitality, “Listen! I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into his house and eat with him, and he will eat with me.” (Rev. 3:20; TEV)

We consider it rude in our times for someone to ask for an invitation to supper. However, in Bible days, such a request was considered gracious. The rude person was the one who refused to extend such an invitation. So the question confronts you: “Are you going to extend Jesus the invitation for which He is calling to you? Are you going to keep Him waiting outside your heart’s door?”

Yes, you may have the privilege of entertaining the Son of God. You may experience the joy such an occasion offers; the same quality of joy experienced by Zacchius. Humanity is searching for peace and joy - especially at this critical stage of world events. Countless billions of dollars continue to be spent in the vain effort to gain peace and joy. The results always have been a synthetic short-lived substitute.

Some time back, the media reported the account of a young man who committed suicide. Materially wealthy, he had great possessions, but was without joy and contentment. Tragically, his discontent led to his suicide. Many today, though they have what they suppose will bring them contentment instead sense an emptiness of spirit. They realize something is missing. It is an emptiness only Jesus Christ can satisfy, a joy only He can supply.

Many are the families broken by sin; Christian parents who are sick with grief over wayward children who refuse Christ’s offer of fellowship. Many are those heading for an eternal damnation that – after one arrives at the age of accountability - does not discriminate between adults, preteens or teenagers. The media carried a horrific account of a sixteen-year-old boy killed at a drinking party when, in an intoxicated condition, he somehow toppled from an upper story window to the pavement below. Imagine the grief of his parents, as they inter their son’s broken body in its grave. And yet – and yet - Jesus Christ can administer His balm of joy even to such brutally broken hearts.

Hear His Invitation: “Come unto me all you who labor and are heavily burdened and I will give you rest,”

© Josprel (Joseph Perrello) Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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