First, let me give a shout out to all the readers who have contributed to our ongoing study about Zacchaeus the tax collector. You all have added a depth to this that I really never expected when I began all of this. As is my habit, I wasn’t really sure where we would go, and many conversations have taken place which have really expanded this in ways I honestly never saw coming. I thank you all, and I hope we are having fun.

There is an old Hymn, commonly sung during invitations following worship services, entitled “Just As I Am.”

Just as I am, without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee
O Lamb of God, I come! I come

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt
Fighting and fears within without
O Lamb of God, I come, I come

Just as I am, and waiting not
to rid my soul of one dark blot
to thee whose blood can cleanse each spot
O Lamb of God, I come, I come

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind
Sight, riches, healing of the mind
Yea, all I need, in Thee to find
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve
Because Thy promise I believe
O Lamb of God, I come, I come

Because Thy promise I believe
O Lamb of God, I come, I come

That song is very special to me, as it was played during the invitation when I responded to the conviction and calling of the Holy Spirit, and gave myself to Jesus Christ. That’s another story, because at this moment we are talking about another fellow; that of course is our favorite tax collector Zacchaeus. I do think, however, that it fits that fellow’s situation as well.

Zacchaeus came to Jesus just as he was. How was that? Let me include this comment from my blogging friend Anita to illustrate:

“The picture that is emerging for me from the text is that Zacchaeus was a man who was pretty near universally despised. He would have been despised by his community for his position of chief tax collector, by which he made himself wealthy by cheating his brethren. This too, would have made him an outcast amongst his spiritual community as well – he would have been seen as an unrepentant cheat, even as a collaborator with the unrighteous because those tax dollars were going to Rome to support (at least in part) foreign gods. Publicly. Good Jews HATED that.

And on top of not only being a social and a religious outcast, apparently he didn’t even have his LOOKS going for him!

The whole picture just sort of screams BAD DUDE.

It’s especially striking when held up in contrast with the good, young ruler.”

It is striking! One man came, full of his own self righteousness, convinced he deserved approval from our Lord. Our friend the tax collector came…just as he was. There is not a single indication he had any thoughts about changing himself in any way. He may have wanted to change, but we don’t know that. We see some changes later, but Zacchaeus came to Jesus in the exact state he was in.

We are going to look at some other things later, and examine some really insightful things people have said on these posts; but in the meantime I want to belabor a point a bit. I know, most people don’t WANT to belabor a point. I do.

Just as YOU are. That’s how, when Jesus calls you, Jesus will take you. Don’t waste your time trying to change into something better pending His acceptance. You can’t change enough to earn his approval.

Are you broken, searching for ways to fit in? Are you on the fringes of life? Does the world around you seem to be rejecting you? Are you just so awfully “bad,” that you think God could never possibly want you? I bet our friend thought that way also. Let’s close with some other thoughts, then we will move onward in our story.

From Tom

” Praise the Lord that He looks at our hearts  and not our physical appearance.”

From Fran

“Here are thoughts I have never had about this little man: God made him a little man, according to HIs plan. He drew this little man to Jesus that day. He made the tree for him to climb, and the witness to the people of what God can do in the heart of man. A little man, wealthy and despised as a tax collector, was chosen by Jesus that day to follow Him ~ a lesson for us all who have been called and chosen to serve Him.”

zacc

Is He calling you?

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