Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” 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.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” – Luke 19:1-7 (NIV)
Do you know someone who is going down a wrong path in life? Perhaps you no longer associate with them because you feel that rejecting them will hopefully help to bring them to their senses quickly and as a result, correct the error of their ways. Even still, what will others think about you if they see you interacting with that person; it may taint your reputation. In actuality, they may disassociate with you if they think that you are condoning the bad behavior.
Truth being told, as stated by Bishop Fulton Sheen in a radio program, “The good are not always good in all things, and the wicked are not always wicked in all things.” Even though someone’s life may look like an absolute barren desert, there is typically always at least one tiny wildflower showing some sign of life. If that is the case, even though it may seem like you are going against the grain, it is extremely important to water and nurture that flower, as if it were an awarding winning masterpiece.
In Jesus’ encounter with Zacchaeus, He was determined to reach past the barrenness and nurture, develop and strengthen the one parched flower that was barely showing any sign of life. As Jesus entered the scene, He dimmed the light on everything in the background that appeared to be dead in Zacchaeus’ life and applied miracle grow, water and warm sonlight to the one and only area that was showing any sign of potential. You see, Jesus believed in him far more than he, in his parched state, was capable of believing in himself; On account of that encouragement, he just couldn’t bear but rise to the occasion.
Lord, help me to reach past the barrenness in my loved one’s life and showcase even the smallest signs of goodness and life. I place within your capable hands, the work that is required to bring about a heart transformation.