Joshua 22-24; Luke 19

Luke 19:2-3,5-8,12-14, 27 “Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature.  When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”  But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.”

So he said, “A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return. He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’ His fellow citizens, however, despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce, ‘We do not want this man to be our king.’

Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me.’”

I am struck by the contrast in Luke 19 between the fates of Zacchaeus, a sinner who ultimately receives Jesus with joy and repents, and those who “don’t want Jesus as their king”.  It’s another rebuke of the “Jesus the mild-mannered mellow teacher” concept.  I have never hear Luke 19:27 spoken aloud in church, either in the liturgy or a homily.  These are very “discomforting the comfortable” words from Jesus.  Also with Zacchaeus the specificity of his repentance jumps out at me, the very concrete things he will do to make his wrongs right.  I think the message here is sometimes being sorry is not enough; reparations are called for.

GOD’S ANSWER: There will be no complaints about injustice in the Kingdom.

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2 Comments on “Joshua 22-24; Luke 19”

  1. pjmcbride Says:

    I was drawn in by your blog’s title, but I too have found that verse disturbing! Looking forward to reading more.


    • Yes, we’ve heard more than once variations of “Jesus came to comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.” We don’t like being afflicted naturally; e.g. we like the Good Shepherd discourse, while tending to bypass reflection on “I come to not bring peace but a sword.” But trying to grasp the entire message is the struggle – and joy – of the Christian life.


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