Breaking Bread With Broken People
In Luke 19 we are introduced to a man named Zacchaeus, pronounced “Zakeeus”. If you grew up in Sunday school you might be able to sing the song that many children were taught that begins, “Zacchaeus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he. He climbed up in the sycamore tree for the Lord he wanted to see…” I’ll stop there. I wonder now if Zacchaeus is pleased that the beginning of his song focuses so much on his height, or lack thereof? Anyway, we are told that Zacchaeus is a chief tax collector and that he was rich. Tax collectors made their money by extorting the people out of more taxes than they owed, and keeping the extra for themselves. They were not well liked by the people as you might understand. In this event Jesus calls to Zacchaeus out of the tree and invites Himself to Zacchaeus’ house for dinner. The people are complaining because they don’t understand why Jesus would want to have dinner with such a despised person.
Unfortunately between verses 7 and 8 we don’t have a record of the conversation between Jesus and Zacchaeus. We are told that Zacchaeus promises to pay back what he had taken by false accusation and give half of his wealth to the poor. Jesus also pronounced Zacchaeus to be a “son of Abraham” and then Jesus says this, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost”. It might have been surprising to the people that Jesus would want to be with Zacchaeus but it wasn’t surprising to Jesus. Jesus came for people like Zacchaeus. Jesus came for sinners. The encounter with Jesus changed Zacchaeus’ life. This is still happening today. Encounters with Jesus are leading to salvation for people all around the world every minute of every day. Have you had an encounter with Jesus that has led you to faith and salvation? Jesus came to break bread with broken people…like you and me…no matter how tall we are!