Ever hang out with the wrong people because you just didn’t know any better?  I have.  True story.  My first friend in Junior High when I literally knew 3 kids among about 750 was a guy we’ll call Vince but his real name was Phil.  Vince literally was the first kid to speak to me in the building.  I don’t recall what he said but I know I was grateful someone actually took some interest in me, a shy, awkward, skinny kid from the country.  I wouldn’t learn until much later that Vince was looked down upon by the “cool” kids in my class.  I don’t know if he caught more flack because he hung out with me but we know Jesus was in the doghouse for associating with Zacchaeous.  And why wouldn’t he be?

Jesus went to eat with a guy who was literally notorious for the crummy things he did.  Why was that?  Did Jesus see something in him?  Maybe.  Perhaps Jesus knew anyone who would literally climb a tree just to get a glimpse of him was searching for something.  Maybe Jesus knew Zacchaeus’s time was right to change.  The story (you can read it here) doesn’t tell us outright but there’s one thing we know from this one and from many others about Him.  Jesus knew Zacchaeus needed forgiveness.  We all do.

No matter if our sins are large or small in our own eyes, we are worthy of forgiveness.  Forgiveness that only God can extend is available when even we don’t think it’s possible.  Forgiveness that others may not think is available because of the rotten things we’ve done in their eyes is offered to us by God if we will only look for it.

The good news is we don’t have to climb any trees to catch a glimpse of our savior.  We need merely to go to God in prayer.  We need to speak with our Father and let him know what’s in our heart, how we will change and let him know our joy in being in a relationship with him.  Then, forgiveness is ours.  And that’s very Good News indeed.