Podcast Reflections

Reflection on Luke 19.1-10

Listen to a reflection on Luke 19.1-10, the gospel reading set for DEL Week 33: Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Luke 19.1-10

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax-collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When 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.’ So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, ‘He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.’ Zacchaeus 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.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.’


Do you consider yourself to be an optimist or a pessimist? Do you see the world as a place of opportunity or despair? Do you see your fellow human beings as companions or obstacles? When you have stopped thinking about those big questions, here is another conundrum: are you an optimist or a pessimist in matters of faith?

We are all called to live a life that is humble, loving and serving. No matter what our personal feelings about the circumstances in which we find ourselves, or about the people amongst whom we live out our daily lives, we are called to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, our risen Lord and Saviour.

This is, of course, a very big challenge for all of us. Throughout his earthly ministry, Jesus was constantly surrounded by those who vilified him, by those who plotted to destroy him. But … this never changed his resolve to bring healing and new life wherever he went.

When we look at Jesus’ ministry in this context, and alongside his call for us to live in the same way, it is easy for us to become overwhelmed with our own shortcomings. It is easy for us to see ourselves as being beyond all hope. But, that is not the message we hear in today’s reading: the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.

During the Covid pandemic there has been much talk of harm being done to our mental wellbeing. People have become isolated and lonely, immobile and lacking in confidence. People have forgotten how to express joy. But, it is to these very people that Jesus comes to bring hope, light, life and renewed joy.

Zacchaeus saw himself as being beyond hope, and yet he still sought out Jesus. His profession and his personal standing distanced him from ‘respectable’ religious society, and yet he still sought out Jesus. It could not have been easy for him to climb that sycamore tree, but he did, and Jesus recognized and rewarded the faith of that man who saw himself as being beyond hope.

As well as being humble, loving and serving, all who call themselves Christians are called to be joyous in their faith. They are called to run on ahead of Jesus as heralds of the good news he brought into this world. They are called to trust that Jesus knows their hearts and minds, and that he will save those who believe themselves to be lost. Alleluia!