Season of Pentecost
Sunday Between October 30 and November 5 Inclusive
October 31, 2010, 23rd Sunday After Pentecost
Click here: George Hermanson's sermon, for an easy to print or email Adobe PDF version of this sermon.
The Rev. Dr. George Hermanson
Note: This sermon was preached November 4, 2007 at Edwards (Knox) United Church.
This morning we have this story of Zacchaeus. We often use it as as a cute children’s story about having faith. We tell how short little Zacchaeus climbed a tree to see Jesus. However, this is not how the story goes. The thing is, Zacchaeus wasn’t a cute little Danny DeVito type character. He was a short, nasty man, who was a dirty collaborator with Rome. He was the chief tax collector, which meant he had many more dirty stealing tax collectors working for him. In a busy cosmopolitan place, he got rich by collecting tolls from all who traveled the roads. He did this for the hated empire. He was part of the reason why life was so miserable for the people of his time.
And yet, Jesus, in his own bizarre way, decides that Zacchaeus deserved to be given the gift of salvation. Instead of helping the downtrodden, Jesus goes to the home of the richest, foulest man in the province. It is another one of the actions of Jesus hanging out with a despised outsider.