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Christian Art | Zacchaeus Proves Himself A Son Of Abraham | King James Audio Bible KJV

Luke 19: 1-10 – Week 33 Ordinary Time, Tuesday (Audio Bible KJV, Spoken Word)

1 AND Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchæus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchæus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.
6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
8 And Zacchæus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

In Jericho, we approach the end of Jesus’ journey. It was in Jericho that the long road of exodus of forty years in the desert ended. For Jesus and his fellow pilgrims, this is the last stage before the ascent to Jerusalem. Jesus’ mission on Earth is soon to be complete.

Once again, we hear a lesson in salvation, coupled with the grumblings of those fail to see that what Jesus is doing is only good. Zacchaeus is a publican, a tax collector, and so he is accounted as being a collaborator with the occupying Roman power, a sinner, who has furthermore grown rich from his position; the people must have hated him.

Zacchaeus is desperate to see Jesus, and he goes to great lengths to do so. Jesus responds, and now Zacchaeus’s life is renewed. This is conversion. Christ will enter under his roof and his soul shall be healed. It is a joyful occasion, shared by our Lord and a penitent sinner, who now desires to make restitution and to give a large part of his wealth to the poor. One more of God’s lost sheep has come home.

Almighty God,
open our hearts to work more zealously
for the salvation of the world,
so that your Church
may bring us and all men into your presence.
Through Christ our Lord.

King James Audio Bible KJV | King James Version | Endnotes

Zacchæus Proves Himself A Son Of Abraham | Love Revealed By Jesus Christ

Zacchaeus was a tax collector, a ‘publican’, a profession that was not only unpopular but also deemed to be sinful by many Jews. Tax collectors were seen as traitors to their own people because they worked for the Roman authorities and often extorted more money than was required. They were despised and ostracized by the Jewish community, and Zacchaeus was no exception.

Despite his unpopularity, Zacchaeus was curious about Jesus and eager to see Jesus. When Zacchaeus heard that Jesus was passing through Jericho, he climbed a sycamore tree to get a better view. This act of climbing a tree may seem trivial, but it is actually symbolic of Zacchaeus’ desire to seek out Jesus and his willingness to humble himself before Jesus. It is also a reminder that sometimes, to truly see Jesus, we need to change our perspective and look beyond our usual assumptions and prejudices.

When Jesus saw Zacchaeus in the tree, Jesus not only spoke to Zacchaeus but also invited himself to stay at Zacchaeus’ house. This was a significant gesture, as it meant that Jesus was willing to associate with someone who was considered to be a sinner and an outcast. It also showed Jesus’ desire to reach out to those who were marginalized and to offer them the gift of salvation.

The response of the crowd to Jesus’ decision to stay at Zacchaeus’ house was one of disapproval and criticism. They grumbled and complained, saying that Jesus was going to stay with a sinner. But Zacchaeus was transformed by this encounter with Jesus. Zacchaeus recognized the error of his ways and promised to make amends by giving half of his possessions to the poor and by repaying anyone he had cheated four times the amount.

This act of repentance and restitution demonstrated Zacchaeus’ faith in Jesus and his desire to live a righteous life. In response, Jesus declared that salvation had come to Zacchaeus’ house and that he was a son of Abraham. This declaration was not only a statement of Zacchaeus’ inclusion in the family of faith, but also a rebuke to the crowd who had judged and excluded him. It showed that no one is beyond the reach of God’s grace and that even the most despised and marginalized can be welcomed into the family of faith.

To be called a ‘son of Abraham’ in the Biblical context holds significant meaning. It is a term used to describe a person who has faith in God and is part of the covenant between God and Abraham.

In Genesis 12:1-3, God promises Abraham that he will make him into a great nation, and that through him, all nations will be blessed. This promise is fulfilled through the birth of Isaac, and then through Jacob, who becomes the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. Throughout the Old Testament, the term ‘son of Abraham’ is used to describe the descendants of Jacob and the Israelites as a whole.

However, in the New Testament, the term ‘son of Abraham’ takes on a broader meaning. It is used to describe anyone who has faith in God, regardless of their ethnic or cultural background. This is evident in the story of Zacchaeus, who despite being a despised tax collector and an outsider, is declared a ‘son of Abraham’ by Jesus himself.

Being a son of Abraham, therefore, is not simply a matter of lineage or ancestry, but rather a matter of faith and obedience to God. As Saint Paul writes in Galatians 3:7: ‘Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.’ This means that anyone who has faith in God, like Zacchaeus, is part of the same covenant that God made with Abraham and is part of the family of faith.

In essence, being a ‘son of Abraham’ means that one is part of the story of God’s redemptive work in the world. It means being part of the community of faith that spans generations and cultures, and sharing in the promises that God made to Abraham so long ago. As Jesus said in John 8:56: ‘Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.’ To be a son of Abraham is to be part of that same rejoicing, and to share in the joy and hope that comes from faith in Jesus.