What is Your Reputation?
This week, our sermon delved into the story of Zacchaeus, a tax collector in Jericho known for his terrible reputation and how Jesus' acceptance led to his transformation. Zacchaeus' response to Jesus' acceptance, which involved public confession and repentance, serves as a guide for us. It invites us to consider what changes we might need to make in our own lives.
1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. 5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” 8 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.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
- Can you remember your reputation in high school or college? What’s one thing about your reputation that you’re most proud of from that time?
- Zacchaeus carried the label of a sinner because he was a chief tax collector.As you reflect on your life, what labels might you be carrying today? Please explain.
- Despite his reputation, Zacchaeus was willing to climb a tree to get to Jesus. In this season of your life, how would you describe your pursuit of Christ? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to get close to Jesus?
- After Zacchaeus drove his own repentance, Jesus called and accepted him a ‘son of Abraham’. How do you interpret Jesus’ view of our repentance from this story? What would it look like for you to drive your own repentance?
Practice The Way of Jesus:
In this story, Zacchaeus is moved by Jesus’ mercy and is driven to repent and make a public confession. This week, reflect on the ways Jesus has shown mercy to you. Then ask yourself: In view of God’s mercy, is there anything in my life that would require repentance or a public confession? No matter our past, Jesus' transformative power can change us. Like Zacchaeus, we too can experience the beauty of redemption and transformation when we turn to Jesus.