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Why are you talking to him?

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  "Why are you talking to him?" 

That's what the crowd asked themselves when they saw Jesus talking to Zacchaeus.  He was a chief tax collector, who was known for taking extra money from the people and had become very rich from it.  He wasn't liked and was known as a "stealing" sinner.  The people whispered among themselves in disbelief that Jesus would not only talk to Zacchaeus but that he would also want to go to his house! 

Let's look at the story a bit closer..

19 Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. 3 He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.

5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”

6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 7 But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.

8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”

9 Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man[a] came to seek and save those who are lost.”

We note that Zacchaeus ran ahead of the crowd and climbed a tree just to get a peek at Jesus.  He went above and beyond to get a glimpse of the son of God.  What was Zacchaeus thinking?  Did he just want to see Jesus?  or did he have something else in his heart?  did he have hope of something better?  did he have hope of no longer being that old person he was if Jesus noticed him?

Jesus already knew Zacchaeus by name.  He knew who he was talking to and whose house he was going to.  He wasn't afraid of the known sinner, he saw beyond what everyone else saw.  He knew there was more to Zacchaeus.  He knew he needed a chance to turn his life around.  Jesus had mercy on him no matter what the others said or what Zacchaeus had done or was known for.  Jesus gave Zacchaeus HOPE.  He gave him a chance at a new life and a new start, regardless of what people said about him or thought of him.

Jesus made Zacchaeus NEW.  He still looking for people just like Zacchaeus.  Do you think your past or current life keeps you from Jesus approaching you?

He knows you by name and He calls out to you to come to HIM and be made NEW.   Right now, wherever you are..... He calls you.

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