November 2, 2015
A small man despised by his peers. As a tax collector, he often lied about the amount owed in order to increase his cut. He would have been required to collect a certain amount of money each week or month. Anything above that amount was his to keep. It was easy to take more than necessary. Curious about Jesus he climbs a tree to get a look at the man with the golden reputation. A few hours later, Zacchaeus is a changed man. He will no longer steal; he will repay those he cheated; and he will take most of his current cash to help the poor. Zacchaeus will become poor in order to be rich. He learned that wealth is not the means to measure his value. The rich man (Luke 18) couldn’t part with his wealth. Zacchaeus couldn’t get rid of it fast enough. Jesus watched the rich man walk away, but declared Zacchaeus a true son of Abraham. Those who follow Jesus will see wealth differently than those who are attached to their riches. We will find opportunities to share and to give. Freely and willingly we will give for the benefit of others. More than recognizing we cannot take it with us, this sharing allows us to align ourselves with God rather than the thinking of this world. Real wealth is found in following Jesus.