Lessons from a Little Guy


Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

(Luke 19:1-10)

[Editor’s note: we’re continuing our Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly series, diving this week into the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19.  I think you’ll find that our writers will help you see that there’s more to this story than we thought!]

“Zacchaeus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he…” I’m not sure if you know the simple preschool song, but gosh, the short passage from Luke producing this song is anything but simple. It is chock full of profound messages. 

In Luke 19:1-10 we notice Zacchaeus’s fervor in seeing Jesus, his quickness in responding positively to Jesus’s request, Jesus’s desire to be with those who are reviled in society, the haughty judgment of Jesus and Zacchaeus by the religious leaders, the openness to change which Zacchaeus exhibits, the speed at which he desires to make right what he’s done wrong, Jesus’s message to all that He’s here for the lost and the sick. The message that salvation is connected to our willingness to do justice. Wow! That’s a whole lot of preaching in just one little blip of the Bible. 

Where I’m going to land today is doing justice. How can we do justice? What next steps can we take in walking the redemptive path between the racial divide, or any divide? Let’s follow Zacchaeus’s lead.

First, we can seek Jesus -- run ahead of him, watch for him, climb trees if we have to! We should do what we need to do to catch every glimpse we can of Jesus and be in his midst.

Next, we can declare an unqualified and speedy YES when Jesus suggests something. Jesus said He would go to Zacchaeus’s house and stay there for the day. Zacchaeus doesn’t hem and haw about how clean his house is or how stocked the pantry is; instead, without delay he welcomes Jesus gladly.

Finally, we can take actions to make things right. When Zacchaeus was in Jesus’s presence, he realizes the wrong he’d done as a tax collector. He sees clearly that people had been cheated and hurt, that they’d suffered because of things he’d done at work. AND HE DOES SOMETHING ABOUT IT. “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” (vs. 8). We don’t all have money to spare, but we can all do something to make things right when we are wrong. 

Lord, please grant us the fervent desire to see you, to be with you every day. Please open our eyes and hearts to the injustices we are a part of, and help us to act speedily in response to your promptings and invitations. Thank you, Lord. Amen.   


Thanks, Jan and Terry. As Alex might say, "Yes and Amen!"
The first words of a changed life were of charity and justice. Becoming a new creature in Christ didn't make the consequences of past sins go away, it led the repentant soul to rectify them. What great evidence of a changed life!
May God reveal to me where I have harmed others or neglected justice and give me strength to make amends.

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