You have to watch this on Martin Luther to get you ready for Reformation Sunday:
Here is another one on Gutenberg:
"What a strange mixture of passions must Zaccheus have now felt, hearing one speak, as knowing both his name and his heart!"
“How far are you willing to go to protect a flawed idea? Or to overlook a mistaken assumption? Or to keep intact a broken theory? When it comes to some of our cherished theological formulas, apparently many of us are willing to go pretty far.” David Loose, Marbury E. Anderson Biblical Preaching Chair, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN
19He entered Jericho and was passing through it. 2A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. 5When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” 6So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. 7All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.” 8Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.” 9Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”
A Little Bit for Everyone
Oremus online text: http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Luke+19:1-10&vnum=yes&version=nrsv
Textweek general resources: http://www.textweek.com/yearc/properc26.htm
Textweek resources for Luke’s Gospel this Sunday: http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/lk19a.htm
Some interesting articles on this passage:
William Loader’s thoughts:
Commentary by Chris Haslam
From Working Preacher: http://www.workingpreacher.org/dear_wp.aspx?article_id=421
Martin Bondi’s “The Short One” from Christianity today:
Great treasures website: http://greattreasures.org/gnt/main.do
Interesting new site by Rev. Jeremy Smith, Musings from a United Methodist Pastor:
• It can be a story of the power of gossip. The crowd had claimed Zacchaeus as a terrible person due to his status. But Zac shows the reputation does not hold water. The crowd is the sinner and Zac is still a sinner but shows how he makes up for his shortcomings. What is the crowd doing other than spreading falsehoods in this passage?
• It can be a story of the power of naming and standing up for one’s self. The crowd named Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus spoke the truth. Jesus affirmed the truth. By claiming his name a son of Abraham, Zac named who he was against who they thought he was. Perhaps then the lost Jesus refers to is the crowd not Zac…well, Zac too.
• It can be a different understanding of Salvation being not an event but a person, as Jesus says “salvation has come to this house” could be a reference to Jesus and not the changed heart that dictated an event of salvation.
From Hacking Christianity: http://hackingchristianity.net/2010/10/was-zacchaeus-really-that-bad.html
In our delight we welcome Jesus Christ as guest at our house and in the home of our hearts. Count us among the children of the covenant, among those sinners who were found when Jesus came to seek out and save those sheep that were lost. Adapted rom Prayers for Sunday and Seasons, Year C, Peter J. Scagnelli, LTP, 1992.
As you probably know the story of Zacchaeus is only found in Luke’s Gospel. Zacchaeus was a chief tax-agent. He was wealthy, not unlike the wealthy man in the Lazarus parable and the wealthy young man from 18.18. So we are see that Luke has crafted a story which is linked through geography and theme.
Zacchaeus climbs up into the tree trying to see Jesus. He wants to see and know who Jesus is. Previously the blind man (18.38), who could not see, indeed recognizes and knows who Jesus is – the Son of David. The blind see the Messiah; they are healed and follow Jesus. So you and I are meant to pause here, only sentences away, and wonder if Zacchaeus, who can see but is blind to who Jesus is, will gain his sight as well. Will his faith make him well?
Jesus, who is seeking the blind and lost, stops under the sycamore tree and tells Zacchaeus that he is coming to his home. Jesus has come and wishes to “remain,” to dwell with Zacchaeus. This is his opportunity to see who Jesus is. This is the moment when Zacchaeus will have the opportunity to welcome the living word of God into his house, and the home of his heart.
The crowd grumbles. They are upset because Zacchaeus is clearly a sinner and a tax collector. Tax collectors are of course beloved by the minority for whom they work and generally despised by the majority from whom they take the tax. In those days the tax collector collected some seven layers of taxes from the day laborer. They also collected from the overall total some money for themselves upon which to live.
But Zacchaeus is not an ordinary tax collector. He has climbed up into this tree because he has already seen and known that amendment of life is essential in the reign of God. He tells Jesus that he has already been giving away half of his possessions to the poor. And if he has cheated someone he is already making restitution. He is fulfilling the law from Exodus 22.1. Zacchaeus has faith. He is being made well before he ever meets Jesus.
Salvation happens because Zacchaeus is living the life foretold in the Lazarus parable. He is a wealthy person but is making a difference in the lives of others.
This is not simply a moral tale though. It is a story of the reign of God coming and making inroads throughout the community. We are clear in the teachings over the past weeks that piety alone does not mean that individuals will: a) welcome the Lord b) change their lives c) live out through action the will of God. Many will be saved, many will glorify God and many will welcome the Gospel of Jesus, the Living Word into the home of their hearts.
We end our parable today knowing the answer to the question from 18.26: Who then can be saved? A blind beggar and a rich tax collector can be saved.
For you and I, we must ask ourselves the perennial Lukan question: Are we faithful but not acting? Jesus seeks us out hoping to find us living out our faith in the world with him through the changing of people’s lives as in the story of Zacchaeus; or proclaiming and glorifying God as in the story of the blind man, which precedes today’s pericope.
There is that wonderful story of the man who stood up just before the offertory at Christ Church and proclaimed: I am Jesus. The Dean turned to the clergy on his right and said, “What should we do?” The answer: “Look busy.”
Jesus challenges us in Luke’s Gospel to see the Living Word of God, the Son of Man, in the person of Jesus, and to not only look busy but be busy in the kingdom work to which we have been invited.
The Lambeth Bible Study Method
This Bible study method was introduced by the African Delegation to the Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Church. It is known by both names: "Lambeth" and "African." This method is derived from the practice of Lectio Divina. The entire process should take about 30 minutes.
Question #5: "Briefly identify where this passage touches their life today," can change based upon the lesson. Find lesson oriented questions at this website: http://www.dcdiocese.org/word-working-second-question
Opening Prayer: O Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scripture to be written for our learning. Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them that we may embrace and hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
1. One person reads passage. This person then invites a member of the group to begin the process.
2. Each person briefly identifies the word or phrase that catches their attention then invites another person to share.
3. Each shares the word or phrase until all have shared or passed using the same invitation method.
4. The passage is read a second time, preferably from a different translation. The reader then invites a person in the group to begin the process.
5. Each person briefly identifies where this passage touches their life today, and then invites someone who has not shared yet.
6. The passage is read a third time, also from another translation, and the reader invites a person to start the process.
7. Each person responds to the questions, "What does God want me to do, to be or to change?"
8. The group stands up in a circle and holds hands. One person initiates the prayer “I thank God today for …” and “I ask God today for…” The prayer goes around the circle by squeezing the hand to your right.
9. When the circle is fulfilled, the person who initiated the prayer starts the Lord’s Prayer, “Our father…”