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There was a man named Zacchaeus who was a tax
Who, because of his efficient skill at reaching his weekly targets,
Was made him chief tax gatherer over-seeing others in the trade.
He had never been very popular, people calling him shorty and squirt,
Looking down their nose at him,
Making fun of him because he didn't measure up to their standards
But they listened to him now
He had power, wealth and the ear of the Roman Governor!
Sitting in his office calculating tax for people
Slipping in an extra figure just because he could
Especially to those who annoyed him and were prosperous.
He had become very bitter in his life, and he knew it
Nothing he had satisfied him - and he was lonely
He had everything yet had nothing
He heard the reports of this man Jesus
How he had healed Bartimaeus by the Gate
How he even forgave sins and preached the gospel of salvation
How he associated with Tax collectors like him.
One of his co-workers once told him he said
That Tax Collectors and Harlots would go into heaven first
Before the self righteous Pharisees.
It made him wonder is there was some hope for Him
The Pharisees had told him he would be cast out of paradise
No longer a son of Abraham
He had laughed at their claim - yet wondered if it were true
Whether what he had done had isolated him from God
One of the "Cut off from among the people of Israel"
He would like to meet this man while he was still in town
And there was no pressing business, so off he went.
The streets were strangely quiet
He asked a beggar do you know where Jesus is?
The beggar pointed toward the main street
So after he put a small coin into his bowl he headed in that direction
The number of people slowly increased until they blocked the road
People everywhere pressing in all around
He didn't have a hope of seeing anyone
He stood wondering what he should do
Then he remembered a tree he use to climb as a boy
A place to get away from his tormentors
It was in this street, just a little further down
So he ran and climbed its large branches and waited
The crowd moved slowly along surging around the tree
Like water flowing around an obstruction in a stream
It was difficult to know which was Him
A number of bulky fishermen were pushing a path through the crowd.
Soon these arrived adjacent to the tree
Zacchaeus was still trying to work out which one He was.
Then a voice called up to him
"Zacchaeus" he scanned the crowd trying to work out who called to Him
"Zacchaeus" came the voice again and noticed a man waving at him
"Hurry up- come down I was just heading to your place for tea"
The kindly face beckoned to him
Zacchaeus quickly swung down to the ground
Forcing his way through the press
He heard the usual derogatory comments as he made his way towards the man
One even said, "Why would Jesus go and eat with a sinner"
When he eventually arrived a feeling of unworthiness crept over his soul
Jesus said, "Lead the way"
Then walked together side by side
"Sir how did you know my name?" Zacchaeus asked
"Today" came the reply" You were part of the Father's plan
I knew you would be there - that is why I came"
The words sank slowly down into his soul
"Just for me" he asked
"Just for you" Jesus said
He pondered those words all the way to his house
"He came for me!- He came for me!
The weight of the sins of his life became heavy
"I am such a sinner yet he is gracious to me!
Yet I have not been gracious to others!"
As they arrived at the door, Zacchaeus stopped
"Lord before you enter I must say one thing"
The half of my goods I give to the poor;
And if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore it four times."
Jesus said, "This day is salvation come to this house, you are a son of Abraham.
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."
14 November 2007
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation
of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength
and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14 ©2007 Stephen Share
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