Prof. Brian Hull – “Holiness Leads to Wholeness”
“Jesus entered Jericho and made His way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way. When Jesus came by, He looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. ‘Zacchaeus!’ he said. ‘Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.’ Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.
But the people were displeased. ‘He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,’ they grumbled. Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!’ Jesus responded, ‘Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.’” - Luke 19:1-10
When we encounter the living Christ, we encounter His grace and His love. This changes us. In this story Jesus, the Jewish rabbi, should not have been touching a sinner, much less going to his house! Everyone in the crowd knew this. Zacchaeus knew this. But Jesus went right to where Zacchaeus was (in a tree) and extended grace and love that was not deserved. Zacchaeus was changed.
Zacchaeus hurries down and welcomes Jesus and then tells Jesus that he is willing to make up for any wrongdoing he has been a part of. He wants to make anything he has broken whole again. This is a great picture for us of holiness. When we truly encounter the living Christ we can’t help but want to bring wholeness to those around us.
Is there any brokenness in your life that you’ve caused? Is Christ’s presence compelling you to make it whole? Ask God to show you any places where you can practice holiness by joining Christ in bringing wholeness.
- Prof. Brian Hull, Assistant Professor of Christian Studies & Philosophy