There was one man who also reached the same crossroad in life and had to make a decision about his own purpose in life. This man works with the IRS. You know these IRS people, they make life hard for all the taxpayers. This particular man, a very small man, does not only work with the IRS, but also makes a lot of money by cheating other people with their taxes. So, he was particularly disliked or even hated by others. One day Jesus came to town and everyone got excited including this man. People lined up in the streets to where Jesus would be passing by. Since he was very small being a spectator amidst a huge crowd proved to be challenging – until he saw a sycamore tree. He climbed up the thorny tree to get a better view of Jesus. However, in a sudden twist of fate, of all the people present during that time, Jesus got his attention to this IRS man. He called up to him and said, “Zaccheus (that was his name), I am going to your house to visit and to dine with you.” So, he got down and welcomed Jesus to his house.
At that point, Zaccheus was at a crossroad of his life. He was living a life of deceit making a lot of money by cheating other people, and here, the Son of God, is his very special guest. He had to make a decision, to whether continue his lifestyle or do something about it. During the dinner he stood up and announced to Jesus that he was going to give away half of his wealth to the poor, and if he ever cheated someone he would repay them back 4 times. Now, you do the math. If he was going to give away half of his fortune and then pay back 4 times to whomever he had defrauded, how much money would he have had left? Nothing. But, that was the decision he had to make and Jesus said salvation has come to that house that day because he was also a son of Abraham. Zaccheus has changed his focus – he has set his eyes on a greater purpose and with that he has received salvation.
Zaccheus is one of my heroes! I have other heroes who lived and are living in our present time.
Mother Teresa. She founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India. She lived a life of service helping the poor, the sick, the orphans and the dying. The world will mark the 102nd anniversary of her birth on August 26th. She passed away at the same time Princess Diana did and the princess’ death overshadowed hers.
Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa and leader of the anti-apartheid. He was imprisoned for a long, long time because of his activism.
And, Rachel Scott. She was a teenager who never lost sight of her faith and purpose in life, even at gunpoint that eventually cost her her life.
Who are you?
Ask yourself, Who am I?
What is my purpose in life?
To be concluded next….