What does it say?
This chapter opens with a leading tax collector named Zacchaeus climbing a tree to see Jesus. The religious crowd murmurs that Jesus offers salvation to a despised tax collector and even invited himself to his house for a meal. This gives Jesus the occasion to tell another story, the story of man leaving for a trip who gives a pound (mena, a Greek monetary unit equal to about 4 months of salary for a worker) to each of ten servants expecting them to be responsible for investing the resource.
Luke 19 also tells of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem on a young donkey that we have already seen in Matthew 21. The final part of Luke 19 records Jesus lamenting over the judgment he knows is coming upon Jerusalem and then cleansing the temple and teaching in it as the religious leaders plot his death.
What does it mean?
Jesus has already been soundly criticized for violating ceremonial purity by sitting down to eat with sinners. The remarkable feature of the story of Zacchaeus is that Jesus initiates the relationship, calling to the tax collector as he looked down from a tree limb. This emphasizes just how aggressive Jesus is in the mission of reaching those on the margin of society, whether poor, blind beggars, prostitutes or wealthy tax collectors.
Jesus’ response to the attacks from his religious critics is to tell the story of the minas to illustrates how our Master has given resources to each of us and expects us to invest them accordingly in his mission.
How will I respond?
Jesus Christ has changed my life and I am responsible to tell my story to others, like Zacchaeus. Am I faithful in telling the story of the day that Jesus came to visit me? Today I will pray that this very week God will naturally give me the opportunity to tell my Jesus story to someone that he has put in my life.