This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2019 Bible Reading Calendar.
In Luke 19, Jesus encountered a man named Zacchaeus. As a man who had gotten rich from being a tax collector, Zacchaeus would have spent years defrauding people through extra fines and such. When Jesus declared he must visit Zacchaeus, the people even complained that someone like Jesus would dare go to the home of someone so sinful.
Yet, Zacchaeus received Jesus with joy. Yes, he had been a sinner, in rebellion against God, but through Jesus he found forgiveness.
This joy moved Zacchaeus on his own to seek to make amends with those he had wronged: “I’ll give half my possessions to the poor, Lord. And if I have extorted anything from anyone, I’ll pay back four times as much.” (Luke 19:8)
When we encounter the grace of God, it changes us. Through that change we long to correct damage done by our sinful past. Often this comes in the form of seeking to reconcile relationships.
On the one hand, we must be careful. Jesus doesn’t call us to do works to assuage our guilt. Jesus is the one who removed our guilt through the cross. We cannot add to that nor take away from it. On the other hand, though, when we have experienced the great love that God has for us through Jesus, then we can’t help but begin to love others in the same way.
So, we begin to practice reconciliation. We show forgiveness to those who have wronged us and we seek forgiveness from those we have wronged, at least as much as we are able. Restoring what is broken in relationships, after all, is what the Gospel is about–God reached to us, and feeling his love, we reach to others.
Scripture quotes taken from the Christian Standard Bible.