He entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.”
It is easy to criticise the rich. I do it often. And as much as I realise it’s both jealousy and indignation on my part its a hard habit to shake. Especially if I think that their wealth has been gathered through suspect means. This story shows that there is nothing new about this attitude. What IS new is the way in which Jesus embraces and accepts Zacchaeus and shares hospitality with him. Jesus is shown to gladly associate with anyone who shows interest and readiness. Jesus is the ultimate “boundary crosser” in order to both seek out and save the lost.