Salvation and Bank Accounts
With his partner, Harry was making good money visiting older folks in their retirement. These senior citizens were at that vulnerable point when they needed to stretch their dollars as far as possible and make sure that they did not disappear with the next Wall Street bubble burst. Harry presented himself as a financial expert there to help the older couple navigate the constantly changing world of investment strategy. All he asked was to take a look at their portfolio. He scanned especially their insurance policies, figured out one that was a close match, but a new plan that his company had just engineered especially for retired couples. Then it was easy. He simply suggested that his clients change to the new up to date policy.
On paper it looked like an even trade, especially if you glossed over the fact that the couple had purchased their initial policy at a much lower monthly rate years ago. The difference wasn’t that much for his client, but for Harry and his partner it was a bonanza. They could charge a fee for the transfer and then received a recurring income because now the account was assigned to them. It was a win win for everyone, especially Harry and his partner, but then Harry met Jesus.
“And entering Jericho, Jesus began to pass through the city. And look, a man named Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, a very wealthy man, was trying to see Jesus, but he couldn’t because he was short. He couldn’t see over the crowd. So he ran ahead to get in front of the crowd and climbed up into a sycamore tree. Now he would be able to see Him. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry up and come down, for today it’s necessary for me to stay at your house.’ Zacchaeus hurriedly came down and welcomed Jesus, rejoicing.
And when the crowd saw this, they were grumbling, saying, ‘He has gone to be with a sinful man as his guest.’ But Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, ‘Look, half of my possessions I’ll give to the poor, and if I’ve defrauded anyone of anything, I’ll pay it back fourfold.’ Then Jesus responded, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’” - Luke 19:1-10
If we haven’t gotten the point from the stories about the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son (Lk. 15) that Jesus has come to seek and to save the lost, then Zacchaeus’ story clinches the case. Tax collectors were despised, and a chief tax collector would be doubly rejected. The crowd griped against it, but Jesus walked right into the home of a notorious sinner, and Zacchaeus’ life was transformed. And we know that this wasn’t some quick, shallow change. This transformation meant that those who had been rooked financially got back their money, four times over.
Remember Harry, the smooth talking financial expert for the retirees? If Jesus is genuinely at home in his life, it will mean he has to go back to each of his clients and follow Zacchaeus’ example in generously making things right. And when unbelievers start seeing this kind of change in our lives as believers, they might begin to listen to the Gospel.
LORD, help me have the faith to believe that You can still enter the lives of sinners like Zacchaeus and alter even what they do with their wallets. And as I tell others about Your grace, help me to drive it all the way home—a true faith reveals itself in honest business dealings. There will be no taking advantage of retirees.
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