MORE THAN A PRAYERBy: Darrelyn L. Tutt
Lost, lonely, and looking ...At the intersection of Jericho and Sycomore, Jesus and Zachaeus enjoy a beautiful, life-altering, miraculous encounter.Revisit the scenario:Zacchaeus is an individual unloved, unwelcome, and unsavory.A notorious tax-collector, he's the "Prince John" in Robin Hood, and the epitome of monetary defilementA mere "sighting" of him is enought to translate the heart into criticism, condemnation, and stone. He's a no-good, greedy man of the worst kind. His life is a single operation of self and narcissism. He's taken advantage of others and made his life a book about "open swindle and financial scandal."As a result he's deemed deplorable ...until Jesus enters the picture.-------When Jesus enters the picture, my friend, any picture at all ...everything changes.Grace is an extraordinary miracle to be experientially enjoyed!This reality is what makes the religiously "good" people crabby, grumbly, and mumbly.This reality is what makes the Pharisee itch and the religious man twitch. This "grace forecast" is providentially and universally unfair!Possibly even ... unforgiveable to some.-------Zacchaeus's "reach" for the Sycomore limb is really a "reach" for Jesus.And the thing about Jesus is that He's always responding favorably to the "reachers."He doesn't care about the names of sins or the history of corruptions committed. He's totally prepared and entirely capable and able to elevate "His" sinful, beloved one through the act of redemption, to Himself.He cares about the man.He cares about the reach.He's the provision for both.Hmmm ....And He lovingly, invitingly, openly, and unashamedly calls "such" men down from their "Sycomores" and invites them to a table instead of a tree.Instead of one man looking down and one man looking up, both men will sit across from one another and enjoy a meal together.And this is how lives change ...Grace shows up at the table as more than a prayer.Grace is a miracle.One act of love realized openly with Jesus invites a whole host of possiblities to attend.Jesus and Zacchaeus sit at a table ... and we've been invited too.What comes in response to a sit-down and a meal with Him, only God knows, but things will indeed miraculously change. He wields the creative power to forcibly change lives and touch "reachers," in a profound way.A miraculous way.Favorable love is a beautiful love ...and a simple "reach" from the Sycomore."And Jesus said unto him, 'This day is salvation come to this house, for as much as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man is come to seek and save that which was lost."Luke 19:9-10-------Three Study Considerations:1) Think you're too far gone? You're not.You're ripe for a "grace picking" and you've been singled out.Reach out ... and enjoy!------2) Read the story of Zacchaeus and redefine the "grace" miracle.Make sure you're enjoying it yourself ... and reclaim and re-experience the liberation of it.------3) Quit trying to "box up" grace and determine what it should look like for others.God displays Himself in unique packaging to each of us and no two ways "look" alike.Rub shoulders with someone who actually "lives out" the defining of grace. You'll know you have ... when it spills out of you.-----
© 2020 El-Inkwell.