In Chapter 11 Pastor Idleman tells of Zacchaeus, the ultra-rich tax collector. This story is a miracle of change. Zacchaeus has spent his whole life taking money from lower-level tax collectors, skimming money from the folks who go to steal from the poor.
He is not a well-loved man to say the least.
Then Jesus comes to town and Zacchaeus wants to see him. Maybe it was his shortness, maybe it was his rich clothing, maybe it was that he is the most unlikely man in the whole world, but Jesus singles Zacchaeus out.
Wow, this is a shocker. Jesus gets invited to dine with Zacchaeus and Jesus accepts.
Over and over again, Jesus does not run with the devout of his culture, his faithful followers. He extends his hand to the prostitute, the sick, the child, the criminal and now to the most despised man in society, the head tax collector.
He knows Zacchaeus is the “hard sell.”
Also one needs to reference the words “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” …. Matthew 18:11
Dining with Zacchaeus sends a strong message to all who have sin burdens that need to be laid down.
What does Zacchaeus do in the middle of the meal with Jesus?
He stands up and declares a change in his life. He says in Luke 19:8 “Here and now, I give half of my possessions to the poor.”
Why does Pastor Idleman single out this action and put it in Chapter 11?
Because it is an example of a man who is taking action. He is not waiting. He is doing what he knows to be right. He is taking his ill-gotten gains and giving them back to the poor.
Too often, we may know we need to act, we are filled with emotion that we need to change, we are told that things need to be different and we put off acting.
The need is there but we just can’t deal with the change.
Don’t overthink it, don’t shy away from the pain, don’t wait for the “perfect time”, just do it.
Just do it.
Just do it.*
Here and now.
*apologies to the Nike Company