Replacing the god of Greed with the God of Mercy

February 10, 2010 — Leave a comment

He entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And 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 and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

“Zacchaeus is one of my favorite Jesus encounters to preach on.  He is a vivid picture of how – in the words of Tim Keller -“Jesus had replaced money as Zacchaeus’ God and Savior, so money could go back to being just what it is: a tool for serving people.”  (Keller has a chapter on Greed in his book Counterfeit Gods)

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