Luke 19:5-7 (CEB)
5When Jesus came to that spot, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, come down at once. I must stay in your home today.” 6So Zacchaeus came down at once, happy to welcome Jesus.
7Everyone who saw this grumbled, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
You may remember the story of Zacchaeus. He really wanted to see Jesus, but he “was a wee little man, and a wee little man was he.” So, he climbed up into a big tree so that he could catch a glimpse of Jesus as he passed by. The only thing is, Jesus didn’t pass by. He stopped. He looked up, told Zacchaeus to come down, and invited himself to dinner.
This sent a shockwave through the crowd. Gasp! Jesus is going to hang out with a sinner! (Zacchaeus was a tax collector and had apparently swindled a lot of people out of a lot of money.)
The crowd didn’t get it. Of course Jesus was going to spend time with a sinner. What did they think he was here for? After all, it isn’t healthy people who need a doctor. Jesus came to seek and save those who are lost. They didn’t get it.
Wouldn’t it be awful if we still didn’t get it? Wouldn’t it be just terrible if the nastiest bully or the biggest druggie at school came to our youth group and wasn’t made to feel welcome because he didn’t belong there? If that happened, it would run counter to everything we say we stand for.
How can we make sure that all people are welcomed into our youth group, regardless of who they are or how they live their lives?
If today’s devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.