Starting OverHave you experienced a fresh start in Jesus?
Top Music Videos
Tale of Two Rich Men
Many of us are familiar with the story of Zacchaeus,
the “wee little man” (as the Sunday school song
goes) who climbed up a sycamore tree to see
Jesus passing by. However, Luke sets Zacchaeus’ story in
close context to the story of another rich man—a young
and wealthy leader who visited Jesus. The proximity of
the two narratives highlights stark contrasts:
• The young rich man believed he was righteous,
stressing how he had “obeyed all [the] commandments”
since he was young (18:21). Zacchaeus, however, said
that if he had “cheated people on their taxes, he would
give them back four times as much” (19:8).
• The people believed the young rich man to be
righteous and were sure that if he wasn’t close to God,
nobody was (18:26), while nobody believed Zacchaeus
was righteous, calling him a “notorious sinner” (19:7).
• The young man wanted his wealth more than he
wanted God. When Jesus invited him to give his money
away and follow Him, he “became very sad, for he was
very rich” (18:23). When Zacchaeus encountered Jesus,
however, he “quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his
house in great excitement and joy” (19:6).
The only similarity between the two seems to be
that they were both wealthy. Everything contrasted from
there. And it becomes obvious that the primary issue
wasn’t their money, but their heart. Jesus asked the young
rich man to give away everything (an extreme request for a proud man who
needed to see he wasn’t as righteous as he considered himself to be). But He
didn’t ask Zacchaeus to give up anything. His only request was for an invitation
to eat at his house.
After encountering real love and true righteousness, Zacchaeus repented
Review both passages again. What other contrasts do you see?
Any similarities? What other clues do you find as to their different heartposture
Are you more like the rich young man (selfdependent) or Zacchaeus
(quick to receive mercy)? Would God ask you to give away everything or
to invite Him to dinner?
- Starting Over - Have you experienced a fresh start in Jesus?...read more
- Genuine Love - How have you experienced the reality of God’s love?...read more
- Straight Up - Is there a current situation in your life where you’ve been less than honest?...read more
- He Saw Something - Have you seen something so true that you would be willing to live or die for it?...read more
- Higher Law, Higher Love - What choice of conscience faces you today?...read more
- Stay or Run Away - How might God want you to display His glory in your life?...read more
- Jealousy and Generosity - To help His followers understand what the kingdom of heaven is like and the dangers of comparison obsession, Jesus told a parable about a landowner who hired workers to tend his vineyard....read more
- On the Fringe - Who sits alone at church that you can befriend?...read more
- Taming Anger - Think back to a time when you lashed out in anger, or when someone lashed out at you....read more
- Full of Joy - How can you tap into God’s joy more fully?...read more
- Mistaken vs. Hard Hearts - How have you experienced a hard heart toward God in your relationship with Him?...read more
- The Narrow Door - How can salvation be a free gift simply received and yet still require our response?...read more
- Last Dance - How can you focus on thoughts that are lovely and admirable today?...read more
- Free to Forgive - How has God’s forgiveness changed your heart?...read more
- Friendly Wounds - What does it mean to “speak the truth in love”?...read more
- Hope Awakening - Do you tend to see the glass as half empty or half full?...read more