Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Tuesday after the Second Sunday after Epiphany

Posted on January 17, 2023 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Luke 19:1-10 (NKJV)
19:1 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”
8 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.”
9 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.”
The Epiphany season teaches us that the kingdom of heaven does not appear the way the world expects it to, and that God’s grace manifests itself to those whom the world would ignore. Zacchaeus was not highly esteemed by his neighbors. He was a publican, i.e., a tax-collector, and by the people’s own estimation, a sinner. He was not even tall in stature, and as the Lord passed by, he climbed up into a tree simply to get a glimpse of Him. Though Zacchaeus was despised by the crowd, the Lord took notice of him. Zacchaeus was one of the lost whom Christ had come to seek and to save.
By listing off his works of penance, Zacchaeus demonstrated to the Lord that he was bringing forth fruits meet for repentance. In other words, Zacchaeus was showing his faith by his works. When Jesus proclaimed, “Today salvation has come to this house,” He affirmed that Zacchaeus had been saved, not by his good works, but that he had proved himself a faithful penitent and an heir of Abraham’s promise.
It might seem at times as though we are seeking the Lord as Zacchaeus did when he climbed the tree. But really, it is the Lord who has initiated our redemption and, by His Spirit, has brought us to Himself. Christ came to seek and to save the lost, and He continues to draw us unto Himself through the Ministry of His Word today.
Prayer: Almighty and everlasting God, Who dost govern all things in heaven and earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of Thy people and grant us Thy peace all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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