Luke 19:6 – So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.
Jesus, I think if you invited yourself over to my house all of a sudden I would panic just a little bit. I’d wonder if my house was clean. I’d wonder if my kids would behave. I’d wonder what evidence of my sin you’d see in my house, in my family, in me. I’d be nervous and afraid. I might even ask if we could meet at Starbucks instead, anything to avoid letting you into my home. But here is Zacchaeus. He is well aware of his guilt and sin. It’s all over his bank account. He had gotten ahead on the backs of tax-payers. And then you invited yourself over on a whim, all of a sudden. Yet, Zacchaeus doesn’t stutter, stumble, or even pause. He hurries down out of the tree and receives you gladly, quickly, and joyfully. I know why. Zacchaeus understood well that you are a friend of sinners. He knew well that you forgive and forget, that you do not hold sins against sinners, even if their sin is written all over the walls of the house. He knew that you were gracious and merciful. He knew that he was already forgiven, that his sins were already separated from him as far as the east is from the west. Lord Jesus, my shame and my sin is already gone too. You have forgiven me for all my sins. And you want to come into the mess of my family life and my home to forgive me, to forgive my family, and to give us the peace of forgiveness. You want to come into our home and into my life to teach me to bear the fruits of faith, help us live in the light of your holy will. So, Jesus come on over. I know your heart. I know your love, your mercy, your grace. My house and my heart is a mess. But that’s why you’re here. You are a friend of sinners and that makes you a friend of mine. Amen.
When Satan calls me a sinner, he comforts me immeasurably for Christ came and died for sinners. - Martin Luther