Jesus promises peace and contentment for all

By GEORGE HOLLIS/Guest Columnist

The parable that the Gospel writer Luke wrote in Chapter 19 is about Jesus and a wealthy tax collector named Zacchaeus. The parable takes place in the town of Jericho, the first non-Jewish community to hear about the Laws of God.

Zacchaeus, the rich and despised tax collector, knew about Jesus, and when he heard he was coming to Jericho, he rushed outside to see him.

What he found was a huge crowd. Plus, Zacchaeus was a short person. But, “He knew the way Jesus was going and ran ahead so he could see him.”

And, like a young school boy, Zacchaeus climbed a tree, a sycamore tree (planted usually in cemeteries), forgetting his place in society and becoming a wide-eyed youngster full of excitement.

Like Zacchaeus, we too, know the way Jesus is going. As we search for something better in life, we might find ourselves in places where you might also find Jesus.

It could be a church or a spiritual retreat. It might be at a funeral or the bedside of a sick person. It might be at a friend’s house that is having a Bible study. It could be in a prison, or with a person who is overwhelmed by life’s cruelty.

Wherever you might find unconditional, caring love, you will find Jesus Christ. Yes, we are so much like Zacchaeus in that we want to let go of the part of life that is causing so much anxiety, and grab a hold of what we have heard will bring us love, joy, peace and hope.

Jesus promises if we will climb our own sycamore tree and die to living for ourselves and be born anew with the Spirit of Christ, we too, just like Zacchaeus, will find that elusive peace and contentment.

The Rev. George Hollis is pastor of Cahaba Valley Church. You can reach him at 991-5226.