Luke 19: 1 – 10
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” 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 came to seek and to save the lost.”
Simply by loving people, by seeing them as God sees them and not as everyone else sees them, can liberation for that beloved child of Abba occur.
This was such a powerful statement, to go and be the guest of a well-known sinner, one who though a son of Abraham had left all that behind him to become a wealthy and powerful collaborator with the Roman occupiers. Jesus sure was not into making popular choices but his insight into this man and his merciful action proved to be so fruitful! So many people saw the error of their ways because of his love, power and holiness.
Jesus, lead us in your path, that we too might walk in your love, power and holiness. Amen.
Noon Day Prayers Question
Is there someone you know, perhaps even close to you, that you consider truly lost? Ask for the Spirit’s guidance in how to pray and perhaps what to do in supporting this one in finding the light. Remember, the people attracted to Jesus knew their need or someone else knew their need and interceded for them. Let the Spirit guide you in how to pray, in what to do or not to do.
Luke 19: 11 – 27
While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’ “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’ “He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it. “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’ “‘Well done, my good servant! his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’ “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’ “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’ “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’ “His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’ “Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’ “‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’ “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away. But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them – bring them here and kill them in front of me.’”
In this parable Jesus speaks to the crowds about their messianic expectation and tells them a story about an absent King who returns to find out how his servants have been taking care of things. He uses the human dynamics of kingship, intrigue, reward and punishment to make his point about how our actions matter in this world and the next. This is his message to the crowds, most of whom will go on their way impressed but unchanged. But for his disciples, any language of Lordship or Kingship was very different.
There is so much hate and intrigue in this world and particularly so when you get to rulers. This is one of the fundamental problems with calling Jesus King because his approach to leadership was servant leadership as opposed to being a “Lord” over others. His disciples were told that greatness came through serving and he made an example of himself by serving them all in the most humble way of washing their feet. He also rejected Pilate’s assertion that he was a king. So, when John in his great visions in Revelation sees the king of kings and lord of lords, it is to indicate how far and above all worldly authority he is and like the human king in Matthew 25, he meets out justice on the last day to everyone, whatever their station in life was. So we know that Abba rewarded his beloved son with rulership over human-kind but in this life we are followers of the suffering servant, the humble healer, the lover of the poor, suffering and oppressed. Lead on Lord Jesus.