Monday Reverb – 31October2022



The theme for this week’ is faith.   

  • In Psalm 119:137-144, the psalmist places his faith in God’s commands with a vigorous display of emotion.
  • In the Old Testament, in Habakkuk 1:1-4,2:1-4, we are told that the righteous person will live by his faithfulness.
  • In 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, Paul prays that God’s power would bring about good deeds as a result of our faith.
  • And in Luke 19:1-10, Jesus affirms the faith that Zacchaeus places in him.




Sought, Seen, and Saved

Luke 19:1-7,8-10

Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.  Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich.  And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature.  So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way.  And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up [a]and saw him, and said to him“Zacchaeus, [b]make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”  So he [c]made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.  But when they saw it, they all [d]complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”  

Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”  

And Jesus said to him, Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  

Part 1 … Interactive Discussion


      • Verse-by-verse
      • Verse 1 … Do you think there is any significance to the phrase “entered and passed through Jericho“?
      • Verse 2 … Any significance to the words Zacchaeus, tax-collector, chief, rich ?
      • Verse 3 … What stands out for you?
      • Verse 4 … Do you think there is any significance to the sycamore tree?
      • Verse 5 … What is significant about what Jesus did?  Can you isolate three things Jesus did?  Any thoughts/comments re: each of the three?
      • Verse 6 … Any thoughts/comments re: Zacchaeus’ response?
      • Verse 7 … Any thoughts/comments re: Zaccheus being called a sinner?
      • Verse 8 … What about verse 8 stands out for you?  What about his giving of a half?
      • Verse 9 … What about verse 9 stands out for you?
      • Verse 9 … What about salvation … today … son of Abraham?
      • Verse 10 … What did Jesus say the Son of Man came to do?
      • Verse 10 … Who is the lost?
      • Do you see a connection between Luke 19:1 and Luke 19:10 ?


      • Identifying with Zacchaeus


      • Identifying with Jesus


Part 2 … Lectionary Review

Cigna, a health insurance company, conducted a survey in 2018 from 20,000 Americans, trying to gauge how they felt about their relationships within their communities. They found that nearly half of those surveyed reported feeling forgotten.   

Another study, this one conducted globally, was done to see how employees felt about their employers. Almost half of them felt like they were invisible in their workplace.

And finally, 66,000 middle school and high students were asked if they felt that they would be missed by their teachers if they never returned to school. Again, nearly half of the students indicated that they felt they would simply be forgotten. They also shared that they felt that they were just another face in the crowd.    

Today, we will be looking at Jesus’ encounter with Zacchaeus – who wasn’t invisible, but was marginalized, even vilified because of his chosen profession. He needed someone who could see him. Jesus is going to do far more than that. We are going to see that what Jesus does for Zacchaeus, he does for all of us. Jesus seeks us, sees us, and saves us.


Read text: Luke 19:1-10   

Luke does something interesting here. He places this story right after Jesus tells a series of parables in chapter 18. The characters in those parables seem to foreshadow the character of Zacchaeus.

  • The parable of the Persistent Widow is like that of the persistence of Zacchaeus wanting to see Jesus.
  • The parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector is likened to Zacchaeus in how he recognized his state before God just like the other tax collector.
  • And lastly, The Rich Young Ruler decides not to sell everything and follow Jesus, yet Zacchaeus was wealthy himself, and decides to freely give what he has.

Like most tax collectors, Zacchaeus was probably very wealthy. They got that way by collecting taxes from their own people, the Jews, and enriching themselves as well as the Romans. But Zacchaeus wasn’t just any tax collector. The scripture indicates he was a “chief” tax collector and wealthy. While Scripture doesn’t say specifically, tradition indicates his wealth likely came from skimming off the top by placing a surcharge on the taxes that the Jews were already having to pay. And on top of that, he was collecting from the tax collectors under him.

To Luke’s intended readership, they would have spotted something odd about this story. And that is the name of Zacchaeus, himself. They would have known that his name meant pure or chaste. Really? You can’t be serious. This chief tax collector is named Pure? It would have been recognized as an oxymoron – like saying cold fire, deafening silence, awfully good or living dead.

Riches aside, Jesus must have known what this man’s life was truly like. A man despised greatly by his own people may not have had many friends. (Even the other tax collectors might not have liked the “chief.”) And adding to the scorn he must have felt, he was probably made fun of because of his short stature.

Do you think he had experienced bullying? We don’t know how his life was, but we might imagine how his riches and how he acquired them had taken more from him than he had taken from the people.

Jesus enters Jericho with his mission for humanity in front of him. He had never wavered nor deviated from seeking, seeing, and saving the lost. When he spots Zacchaeus, he takes the opportunity to fulfill part of his mission right then and there.

Jesus is not focused on the crowd of gawkers. He is looking for the lost soul among the crowd. He is the one who seeks us. And he sees this lost soul in Zacchaeus. He could have just as easily kept walking on by and left Zacchaeus in the tree, which may have been what Zacchaeus was expecting. Even if he was up in the tree, he probably felt invisible and rejected by God. Just another face even if he wasn’t in the crowd.

In our daily lives, we are also on mission with Jesus. It’s easy to get consumed with our responsibilities and what is in our immediate view. But sometimes we need to be reminded that we are still on mission and that we need to look up. Jesus says in John 4:35 “I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” We seek others because we have been sought.

 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. (Luke 19:5-6)

Zacchaeus realizes that he has been seen. In his mind, he may have been expecting judgment. “Here is this miracle-worker that many are saying may be the Messiah, and if so, I could be the first on his chopping block.” The crowd might have enjoyed that. But then he quickly realizes that Jesus has a different agenda altogether. Rather than being judged by Jesus, he is affirmed. Jesus loudly proclaims that he is to come down from the tree immediately because he is going to be the guest of Zacchaeus. What a turn of events!

Jesus not only sees Zacchaeus physically, but more importantly, sees the inside of him. Jesus knows the heart of mankind. We were made for connection with him. And he knows how we long to be seen, to be known for who we are. We often hear people referring to finding their people, or tribe. We all have that longing to belong. We want to know that someone would still stick around even if they knew the worst of us.

Pastor John Lynch, wrote:

What if there was a place so safe that the worst of me could be known, and I would discover that I would not be loved less, but more in the telling of it? … What if it was less important that anything ever gets fixed than that nothing has to be hidden?

Jesus accepted Zacchaeus knowing who he was. He extends grace, not by asking for Zacchaeus’ invitation but by declaring that he must stay with him. And it wasn’t based on anything that Zacchaeus had done, good or bad. It was based solely on who Christ is.

Our God chooses to dwell with humanity, not based on our goodness but based on his goodness.  Romans 2:4 confirms that it is God’s kindness that leads us towards repentance. And Zacchaeus is getting a full dose of God’s kindness in his encounter with Jesus.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” (Luke 19:7)

Unfortunately, we don’t always see what God sees in others. All the crowd saw was an undeserving sinner being embraced by this holy man of God. Their thinking was that God would want nothing to do with such a person. But it wasn’t up to the crowd then, and it is not up to us now who is included in the grace of God.

The crowd may be quick to tear us down and remind us of our faults, but Jesus, through his Spirit, will continually remind us of who we are in him, and who we are to him. He has sought us and seen us.

In answer to the crowd, Zacchaeus proves to them and Jesus that his repentance is genuine.

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.” (Luke 19:8-10)

Jesus declared to all within earshot that salvation has come to Zacchaeus. In witnessing the repentant heart of Zacchaeus, Jesus is pointing out to the crowd what it looks like when one has a proper response to the grace and favor of God – the response of faith.

He affirms Zacchaeus as being a son of Abraham. He is included in the people of faith, no longer to be thought of as an outcast amongst his own people. Zacchaeus’ response is one of faith because he has seen the faith of Christ exhibited towards him. Zacchaeus, then, was sought, seen, and saved.

Jesus said that he came to seek and to save that which was lost. He represented the heart of the Father here on earth. In this story, he was on mission to seek, see, and save. He identifies Zacchaeus as someone who felt lost, who needed to know about his saving grace.

Zacchaeus realized something many of the crowd missed; many of them believed they didn’t need a Savior. Many thought they were already righteous apart from Christ and didn’t feel the need to repent and humble themselves. How many today believe the same – that they are found in their own goodness? In so doing, they become the ones who are truly lost.

Jesus looks into the hearts of us all to see our place of greatest need. He then works in us to heal those broken places that only love can fix. And he comes to live with us by his Spirit to claim us as his own.

He is the one who seeks us, sees us, and saves us. He continues his ministry today through us, by his Spirit. As his followers, we hold our heads up to see the fields that are ripe for the harvest. We open our eyes to see as he sees. We open our hearts to feel as he feels. And we open ourselves as his church to gladly receive and welcome others into the family of faith where they truly belong.







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