The theme for our morning’s meditation is, “God works in unexpected ways to fulfil his purpose”. There are many times in our lives when God takes us through strange ways in order to fulfil his own purposes. We see that happening in the life of Jesus himself.
The Jewish leadership thought they had put an end to Jesus by crucifying him on the cross. However, God used it to fulfil his purposes of dying for the sake of the whole world and rising again on the third day. God works in our life for the good of our salvation. Whenever we go through trials and tribulation God allows that, so that he can refine and purify us.
In this morning’s reading for us from Luke’s gospel, we see that Jesus worked in unexpected ways to fulfil his purpose in the life of Zacchaeus. This incident comes immediately after Jesus heals a blind man outside Jericho. Luke records for us that Jesus was passing through Jericho and a man by the name Zacchaeus was there.
He was a chief tax collector and wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was and because he was short, he could not see over the crowd. So, he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him because Jesus was coming along that way.
Since Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector, he was hated by the Jews because he was working for the Romans and collecting tax from the Jews. Most of the tax collectors were corrupt and charged much more that what they ought to have done. The fact that Zacchaeus was rich makes us presume that he too, like others of his trade, was not honest in his dealings.
Even though Zacchaeus was a rich man, he was not happy. Inspite of being a chief tax collector, his money was not able to quiet the turmoil in his soul. Power and position could not satisfy him. There was a deep thirst within his soul yearning for God.
Many a time we find ourselves in a similar situation. We have all the money and the resources, but we do not have peace in our lives. We are searching and looking for peace to fulfil this vacuum in our life. Zacchaeus too is a seeker like us. He wants to see Jesus and find out if he could indeed satisfy his inner most thirst and therefore, he runs to the Sycamore tree.
When Jesus reaches the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” Jesus called Zacchaeus by name. it was a personal call. Similarly, Jesus calls each one of us by name in order to fulfil his purposes. It was also an urgent call because he was asked to come immediately, for the Lord wanted to stay at his house on that day. Zacchaeus obeyed immediately and came down and took Jesus home.
Jesus continues to call each one of us today. He wants to come and reside in our homes and in our hearts where he can dwell with us forever with the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus went to the house of Zacchaeus, it was a sign of fellowship, friendship and forgiveness.
Zacchaeus repented of his sins after his encounter with Jesus. He immediately tells the Lord that he would give half of his possessions to the poor and if he had cheated anyone, he would repay them four times. The people grumbled that Jesus went to the house of a sinner.
But Jesus says, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Jesus continues to transform sinners in unexpected ways to fulfill his purposes. May we too allow God to work in our life in unexpected ways so that his purposes can be fulfilled in and through our lives.
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