Let's Talk About Changing
Every week you’ll find different types of posts here on the ABS blog. Today’s post is for teachers, to encourage conversation and reflection in your Bible study group. Each “Let’s Talk About” activity can be used at any time during your meeting and lasts approximately 10-15 minutes.
Today, let's talk about..
BELIEVING IN CHANGING
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through town. 2 A man there named Zacchaeus, a ruler among tax collectors, was rich. 3 He was trying to see who Jesus was, but, being a short man, he couldn’t because of the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. 5 When Jesus came to that spot, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, come down at once. I must stay in your home today.” 6 So Zacchaeus came down at once, happy to welcome Jesus.
7 Everyone who saw this grumbled, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
8 Zacchaeus stopped and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my possessions to the poor. And if I have cheated anyone, I repay them four times as much.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Today, salvation has come to this household because he too is a son of Abraham. 10 The Human One came to seek and save the lost.”
So Zacchaeus came down at once, happy to welcome Jesus. —Luke 19:6
A tax collector, sure to have been accused of mismanaging money, was the last person anyone would have expected to change or to welcome Jesus. Yet, Zacchaeus did just that. We must remember that the people Jesus came to rescue were those we often condemn as unworthy. Yes, there is a place for all who believe. But our job is not to judge the unbelieving. Our job is to love everyone the way Jesus did and let God handle the redemption and salvation. When we judge people who are homeless, who are trying to immigrate, who have different belief systems, who have a different skin color or ethnic background, who have different political views, who are richer or poorer than we are, and who live differently from us, we become the oppressor and condemn ourselves instead.
Questions to Discuss:
Why were people angry when Jesus wanted to stay at Zacchaeus’ home?
Would we be angry today if Jesus came to visit someone we did not like?
What do you think changed in Zacchaeus when he saw Jesus?
Have you seen other people who were changed after coming to know Jesus? How so?
Do people know you as a follower of Jesus? How so?
How might you welcome Jesus this Christmas? How can Jesus be a more obvious part of your life?
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