Thursday, November 4, 2010

Our sermon on Sunday was from Luke 19: 1-10. I'm sure you know the story, Zacchaeus the tax collector who was hated by so many climbed up in a tree to see Jesus pass by. I wanted to share a few of my thoughts about this. First of all, it was a great message. We also had a wonderful dramatic reading. I loved it! If you'd like to hear the sermon go to . It's worth a listen!

I wrote down a ton of notes, but of course, cannot find them... Anyway, here is what stuck out to me. Jesus was walking by... it was no accident he looked up in the tree. He knew that Zacchaeus would be up there. So, he looked for him and called him down. Now read the words from the Bible.

5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

Notice anything special? I didn't at first. Until our Pastor pointed out that Jesus specifically called out Zacchaeus by name. He didn't just look up and smile, point to the man and say "come on down". He didn't say "hey you", or even "buddy... you up there"... He said Zacchaeus.

I have some friends and have known people in my life who are very good at using names in conversation. Now by this I don't just mean like once or twice, I mean like regularly. Let me give you an example
Friend : Hey Shannon! How are you?
Me: Good, how are you? We've missed you!
Friend: Shannon, I know. It's been so busy. But... (conversation continues)
Me: well, it was great to see you! Let's get together soon!
Friend: It was good to see you too Shannon. Have a great day!

Can you see how they do it? At first, it's a bit odd, maybe even weird, but then you like it. Why? Because it's personal and makes one feel loved and "known" you follow? I wish I was someone who did this. I have to work hard at remembering names and even use them once in conversation.

So, why is it so important that Jesus called Zacchaeus by name? Think about it... here was someone who was so hated by so many... and the person that everyone was waiting to see was walking by. And he calls out his name. It was no accident. Jesus did it for Zacchaeus himself and also for all those around. He wanted them to see that he was seeking not only the good, the rule followers, the loveable, but also the cheaters, liars, and the hated.

Jesus planned to call out Zacchaeus that day. He was specifically searching for him. And he's doing the same for us now. It doesn't matter if you are the good rule follower standing on the sides waiting for him, or if you are the lost who have to climb up in a tree because there's no place for you anywhere else. He came to seek and save us all. And the best part? He knows your name. He totally does. He came for you and me. And when he sees me, he'll say "Shannon, come on with me." He's going to say my name. And if I feel loved and accepted now by friends who use my name so well in conversation, I can't wait for when Jesus calls it out!. And you? He'll say yours too. He knows it already. He won't need reminded and he won't forget. You just wait and see.

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