Thursday, 31 October 2013

Out on a limb

GospelLuke 19:1-10 

Jesus entered Jericho and was going through the town when a man whose name was Zacchaeus made his appearance: he was one of the senior tax collectors and a wealthy man. He was anxious to see what kind of man Jesus was, but he was too short and could not see him for the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus who was to pass that way. When Jesus reached the spot he looked up and spoke to him: ‘Zacchaeus, come down. Hurry, because I must stay at your house today.’ And he hurried down and welcomed him joyfully. They all complained when they saw what was happening. ‘He has gone to stay at a sinner’s house’ they said. But Zacchaeus stood his ground and said to the Lord, ‘Look, sir, I am going to give half my property to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody I will pay him back four times the amount.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man too is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost.’

At the beginning of his Gospel, Luke tells us that he has researched many stories around the person of Jesus. The incidentals of this tale, told only by Luke, suggest a story that has passed the test of time within the community and carries a message worth remembering.

Jesus has spent time with tax collectors in the past; he has made time for these unpopular collaborators with Rome. Certainly, Zacchaeus has profited from this collaboration - popular or not he has both wealth and status. Despite this, here he can't get what he wants; he can't even fight his way through the crowd. Perhaps an invitation is in the air; something Zacchaeus can't quite name; something irresistible. 

He makes a choice- a choice to act out of character; to act more like a child than a grown man. He scrambles into a tree; literally going out on a limb just for a glimpse. And now there is nowhere else to go; as high as he sits he has now made himself vulnerable. No doubt some jeering asides add to the crowd's complaints. Perhaps it is this vulnerability that gets Jesus' attention; that invites hospitality and redemption. This vulnerability that makes Zacchaeus free to let go of what used to be so importan.t

Seeking God's grace often suggests pilgrimage or journey; perhaps the first step is the willingness  to move out of your comfort zone; to make yourself vulnerable? To know that you are a child of God  with needs the world cannot fulfil.  Hearing the invitation that bring Jesus to the home within you; to the place of transformation. A transformation that brings forth something wonderful.


1 comment:

Claire Bangasser said...

Moving out of our comfort zone :-)
So very true, Word!
Thank you