Worthy of the
But you spare all things, because they are yours, O LORD and lover of souls, for your imperishable spirit is in all things!
Jesus’ meeting with Zacchaeus is one of the most beautiful encounters in the gospel. It is beautiful and poignant because it speaks to us in the ways we fall short of the call we have received and the hope we have for coming to worthiness.
St. Paul tells the Thessalonians to be worthy of the call. Jesus reminds Zacchaeus to live up to his call.
Let’s take apart the words here.
First, Jesus had no intention of hanging out in Jericho. The gospel tells us “[He] intended to pass through the town.”
But… there was this man Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus the short, the tiny, the little. It wasn’t so much about Zacchaeus’ physical stature, but rather his spiritual standing.
God’s only Son, Jesus, passing through the town comes across one fallen, one with great spiritual and moral shortcomings. and stopped as Wisdom says God does. The Lover of souls takes time to call Zacchaeus down from his lofty position and back to the reality of one called, a son of Israel and child of God. Jesus’ presence calls Zacchaeus to abandon his former ways … and he does.
Notice, Zacchaeus stands, stands on his own feet to be seen and heard by all. He renounces his former life and in doing so finds salvation. And not just Zacchaeus, but salvation had come to his entire house.
There is such hope here. There is such promise!
Zacchaeus, like we, was the holder of God’s promise. He was not an outsider, not a castaway, forgotten – and Jesus did not pass him by. Jesus passes no one by. The Holy Spirit’s call to faith echoes in each person’s ears. We are all called as is every human being. There is no ‘them’ in the promise of hope.
The call rang out in Zacchaeus’ heart, come unto Jesus. So, he climbed. It has rung out in our hearts – it is why we are here. It is ringing in ears across this city, county, state, nation, and world. We must therefore live worthy of the call, using the grace and power given us to powerfully bring to fulfillment the good God asks of us, the effort of faith. Let us bring in of the harvest through the word of hope we hold, the example we offer.