But my Friends, it Saved Zacchaeus:
Zacchaeus may have been a wee little man, but dont sell him short. He is more than a minor New Testament character (Luke 10:1-10). One characteristic that cause him to stand above the crowd is his curiosity. It was no passsing interest that caused the little man who collected big taxes to run ahead of the multitude and call attention to his short stature by climbing a tree. This curiosity brought "salvation to his house" (19:9).
My friends, I recently had the privilige of reading a "Food For Thought" that was written by a member of my family, who I've always considered "One of a Kind" and has always been very dear to my heart. And who has always brought me pleasure thru her obivious God given talents/skills, mind, as well as her other such fine personal attributes that she clearly possess. For in her writing, she reminded me of how some in this life, choose to be cynical, and too, how others may choose to always ask the question Why?
Well my friends, What about you? Are you like her? Do you have an active mind? Do you find yourself asking, "Why"? more often than most? Does your curiosity spill over into the religious realm? Have you read much of the Bible?(God's Word) to Man! Have you wondered about its claims to be inspired of God, its story of creation, its record of miracles, its discussion of Jesus virgin birth and bodily resurrection, its claims about heaven and hell? If so my friends, I would like to encourage you to keep reading! For I've chosen to prepare this "Food For Thought" with her in mind, and too, Just for YOU my Friends!
Evidently Zacchaeus had heard some pretty amazing things about Jesus: Somebody came through Jericho a while back who said He fed five thousand people up by Lake Galilee.. for another reported seeing Him cast out devils and heal lepers.. rumor was He raised a dead man up on the mountain.. walked on the Sea of Galilee, too, some say.. Just today they said He had healed two blind men, on the other side of town.
And then there were the other things: Jesus didnt tow the party line with those hateful scribes and Pharisees.. He associated with publicans, ate with publicans, made a publican the hero of one of His sermons, selected a publican as of of His apostles, was even known as the "friend of publicans and sinners". He preached about doing away with the tradition of the elders and urged people to follow only the will of God. Well my friends, this was enough to make a man just a little curious. Just like that "One of a Kind" in my family.
Jesus was used to being the object of curiosity. As an infant, He aroused the curiosity of the "Magi" (Matt:2:2); angels peered from heavenly windows to see their Master's new form (Luke 2:15; 1 Peter 1:12); and Simeon couldn't wait to hold Him(Luke 2:28).
As a boy, doctors in the temple found Him very interesting(Luke 2:47). As a man, two of John's disciples were inquisitive about where He lived and were invited to "come and see" (John 1:38,39). A ruler of the Jews named Nicodemus was curious enough to pay Him an "after hours" visit(John 3:2). Simon the Pharisee was curious about "whether he were a prophet or not" and invited Him to a banquet(Luke 7:36). Certain Greeks who came to a feast Jesus also attended asked Philip to arrange for them to meet Jesus. (Their request is ours, too: "Sir, we would see Jesus, (John 12:20,21; cf. 1 John 3:1-3). Interest never waned, my friends, to include with my family member, which I call "Our One of a Kind". And even Herod wanted to see Him because He had heard such marvelous things about Him (Luke 23:8).
My friends, I've found that Most of us first come to Jesus on this level. Even after two thousand years. He is still the most talked about, most controversial, human ever to reside on the Planet. Sure we heard some things, not sure if we believe them yet, but we are curious, are we not? Things like "born of a virgin." Are you for real? (Yes.) "Put His hands on sick people and they got better." Yea right! (Exactly Right.) Walked on the water? C'mon. (The only thing that got wet was the bottom of his feet.) Called His friend and Lazarus come out to see Him from the grave? Sounds like a Halloween story Jim.. (No story. Lazarus is one man who died twice). Murdered by His enemies on Friday, but got the last laugh on Sunday morning. Pretty unbelievable huh my friends? (Thats what makes it a miracle.)
And then, like all of you, that choose to be cynical, and yes, like Zacchaeus, there are the other things for you, and us. For my friends Jesus forgave people of "Anything", once they repented (Turned Away), like a single women living and sleeping with a man, outside of marriage, and having sexual relations with him, and like the woman caught in adultery and that murderer Saul of Tarsus. He even prayed for His executioners! He catered to common folks and tapped ordinary people to be His most relied upon lieutenants. He made it sound like anybody could please Him if they wanted to enough, and everybody could make it to heaven. It's still enough to make a person inquisitive even still today, and perhaps even You, My Friend!
My Friends, it is good for us to be curious about spiritual things, is it not? We were born questioners. For I recall years ago, when I had the privilige and honor to babysit our family's first born boy, who I will call Mikee "D". For I was blessed to see the wonderment in his eyes as we interacted together, just him and me all alone. For I recall his favorite "Word" to me, even til this day, and always just loved it, when He said, "Uncle Jim, Why?" For "Why" was his favorite word. And thus he taught me to use that word, when I was blessed to have children of my own, a few years later, thus encouraging them as well to use it, at every opportunity.
So even today adults should not give up that word too easily. Einstein said, "The important thing is not to stop questioning." Charles P. Steinmetz said, "No man really becomes a fool until he stops asking questions." Samuel Johnson said, "Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect." James Thurber said, "It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all the answers."
Paul taught, "Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21; cf. Romans 12:2; Ephesians 5:10; Philippians 1:10). Jesus told the Jews; "Search the scriptures" (John 5:39), and urged His followers to be "fruit inspectors" (Matt:7:15-20). He insisted that God gave us eyes, ears, and brains for a reason ("Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?" (Mark 7:16; cf. Matt:13-16, Luke 8:18).
For Remember always my friends Curiosity is not a thing to be crushed. Nor Doubt is the prelude of knowledge in this writers subjective view.
In My Conclusion of This "Food For Thought"
Curiosity Will Lead You to
Remembering "Mikee D's" Question
Investigation leads to Knowledge
Which Leads to Faith.
Faith Leads to Obedience Which
Leads to Salvation.
Stay Tuned My Friends!