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.” Luke 19:8
Our access to a massive amount of ideas through the internet is sometimes overwhelming. We might be prodded by ideas for self-improvement and prescriptions to improve living conditions for others, to just “do something!”. However, the weight of possibilities can also be paralyzing.
As Christians, we have time-honored ways to address this whirlwind of ideas for restoring ourselves and others. When we are pressed to take a stand to supply instant answers to perennial problems, we can be prepared with a solid understanding of “The way of Jesus with the heart of Jesus”.
When we study the life of Jesus, we find that simple encounters with him radically change hearts…or not. He doesn’t chase after those who resist him or force them into restoration. He’s looking for a change of heart and instinctively invites those who are ready for entry into his community of faith. We find such an encounter with the tax collector Zacchaeus.
After Jesus told Zacchaeus to invite him home to dinner, Zacchaeus had a heart response that shocked everyone who “knew” tax collectors treated everyone like dirt. 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.” Luke 19:8
If we focus on Jesus’ ways and ask him to bring to mind anyone we have treated poorly, he will give us a change of heart, especially as we read the scriptures. When we present Jesus to others in an uncomplicated way, we might see surprising responses to him. But the type of response we receive is not up to us.
Are you wondering if you should contact someone made unhappy by your actions? Ask Jesus what he wants in that relationship. Also, ask Jesus to help you present him to others in an uncomplicated way.
By Kathleen Petersen