Re-post. So after that first “experience” at TC 2011, I was eligible to volunteer for future conferences. One of the positions was for the music team. I auditioned and by God’s grace, I “got in.” What with school and practice and rehearsals, I didn’t have much time to blog as I went, but I started recording some of it during “crunch time.”
It’s been an AMAZING journey, and I can’t believe we’re almost there!!! 9 days left til TC!!!!!! Hehe, imagine, about a year ago, I blogged about my first TC experience 😀
Our very first bible study was on Zacchaeus in Luke 19.
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him,“Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
In a nutshell… there are 4 major characters/components to this passage:
3. The crowds following Jesus
4. The tree
Yes, the tree.
A lot of times, in the church’s attempt to preach all these good things and follow all the rules, it becomes, just religion and the gospel is lost… it becomes man searching for God, instead of how God searches for man, to be reconciled. (I love that quote. Search “Why I Hate Religion” on Youtube if you haven’t seen this awesome video yet.)
But yeah… the church can sometimes obscure Christ from those who don’t know him yet, just like the crowd did for Zacchaeus.
The tree that this tax collector climbed however, lifted him up ABOVE the crowd so that he can see Jesus. The tree held his weight, stayed out of the way of things, ’cause… well it’s a tree.
IN THE SAME WAY… especially for any leaders out there… are you going to be part of the crowd, making lots of noise, blocking people’s (especially your friends who are are watching you as a Christian and evaluating your example…) view, or are you going to be the TREE. Invisible, carrying Zacchaeus, ALLOWING him to see Jesus?
Particularly for those of you leading worship… Worship is NOT a performance. You should be INVISIBLE on stage, using the musical gifts God has given you to lead a congregation to God, to experience Him.
This next part, v.7-10 are really cool too. This is Zacchaeus, who is a Jew, who is a tax collector. What tax collector did, was basically take money from people and give it to the Gentiles. That’s why a lot of times, in the bible, tax collectors are not usually people people like, ’cause it’s almost like they “betray” their jewish kin… and of course the thing about taking money from people… BUT ANYWAY. Basically, people don’t like Zacchaeus.
So yeah, Jesus goes over to Zacchaeus’ house and dines with him! Zacchaeus, the guy who stole people’s money by taking some of the taxes for himself, ate with Jesus, and promised to pay the people he stole from 4 times as much as he stole. Talk about a sweet deal 😀
The point is… JESUS, God in THE FLESH, chose to eat with this short thief that nobody liked. If God loved the loners, and if we’re called to do likewise, to love people as Christ did: unconditionally, without judgement, and keeping no record of wrong… why aren’t we?