Zacchaeus

Today’s reading is Luke 19: 1-27

rootedchristToday we read two different stories that most of us have a sense of familiarity with.  We see the story of Zacchaeus and we see the parable about burying your talent (except here in Luke in the NRSV it’s called a pound – approximately three months wages).  I think we see an interesting theme emerge within these two stories.

For me when I read them, Zacchaeus has an encounter with Jesus and it changes His life.  From this point forward, he is different.  He is changed.  He is not the same.  We see him, forgiven, and able to serve, give, and care for others.  We see the impact of Jesus upon his life.

Now the second story doesn’t look nearly as optimistic. We see this nobleman, who is not a good guy, who the text even says is harsh, treat his servants harshly. But what I want you to notice is what guided the servant that was not faithful with his duty.  It was fear.  He was afraid of his master, so he didn’t do anything at all, and because of his inaction and fear wound up not being faithful.

Zacchaeus could have said – I am afraid, because of my past actions to be faithful.  What will they think of me?  What can I do?  The past is done, there is nothing I can do to get back in the good graces of others.  But he was guided by grace, not by fear. The servant that was not faithful was afraid. And because of that, failed in his duties.

Fear or faith.  That is a choice we each make. Today, what choice will you and I make?

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