Week 3: Day 4 Repentance

September 21, 2016

  • Day Four: Repentance

     

    Passage:

    Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

     

    When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

     

    But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

     

    Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:1-10, NIV)

     

    Perspective:

    Nobody would have liked Zaccheus. As the chief tax collector, he would have been known to cheat people out of their money, demanding that they pay him extra funds, with the backing of the Roman soldiers who enforced the Roman law. He was a bully. Zaccheus was a rich man with money, but he wasn’t rich in relationships or grace. He may have had a full bank account, but his account with friends was empty.

     

    But Zaccheus’ encounter with Jesus changed everything. Salvation showed up, looked Zaccheus in the eye, and said, “Invite me over for dinner. Let’s hang out!” And how does Zaccheus respond? He gives away half of his money to the poor, and offers to pay back everyone he cheated (which is likely anyone he knew). He completely turns his life around, 180 degrees. The churchy word for this is “repentance.” Money was keeping Zaccheus from a relationship with God and others. So, he gave it away, traded in funds for friends, wealth for worship.

     

    So how does money affect your own relationships, both with God and with other people? How does it help? How does it create problems? What does repentance look like in your own life?

     

    Practice:

    Who is someone who owes you something? Forgive them their debt, big or small—don’t bother telling them, just don’t ask them for the money or item in return.

     

    Prayer:

    Jesus, thank you for the salvation you give me. Help me to be generous with others, like you’re generous with me.

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