Text: Luke 5.27-32
In Eastern culture to receive hospitality was to extend friendship. Jesus, by choosing to be a guest of Zacchaeus, meant he was befriending one of THEM—those the Jews blamed for their current oppression. Up to this point, the Jews had been under oppression for what seemed like an eternity: from the Egyptians, Canaanites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, and Romans. No wonder the Jews were upset when their promised rescuer comes and befriends THEM (Luke 19.7).
Earlier in Jesus’ ministry, he befriended another tax collector named Levi. In response, Levi held a great banquet for Jesus and invited an inordinate number of people to honor him. Because of this, the Jews became angry about Jesus’ choice of company. This response never changed even after Jesus described his mission to heal the spiritual sickness of their depravity, including those who believed they were “well” (Luke 5.31).
With great compassion, Jesus levels the playing field—oppressors and the oppressed all need a doctor. We are all spiritually sick whether we admit it or not. In fact, a response of anger is likely a refusal to see our own spiritual sickness.
Today, discuss the One Big Question with your small group or a trusted friend . . . Over the eight weeks of the series Found, in what areas have you discovered you are lost?