Have you ever had one of those moments where you knew you were about to make a fool yourself? When I was a senior in high school, I did serious damage to the engine of my car. I owned a classic 72 Chevrolet Camaro that was probably faster than any 17-year-old kid should be driving. I blew my engine and was unable to drive my car for six months. Nothing is more important to a 17-year-old guy than looking cool. Where I grew up, looking cool was tied directly to the car you drove.
I was a senior in high school, working at a fast food restaurant, and had lots of responsibilities. My family wasn’t available to drive me to work, so I had to ride my bicycle! I don’t need to tell you, there’s no way to look like the big man on campus when you’re riding a bicycle as a senior in high school. It gets worse- most of those six months happened to be during the winter. The snow was so deep that I couldn’t ride the bike anymore. So, I literally had to run to school and work. Imagine- running through six inches of snow in below freezing temps across town in your work uniform. I’m still scarred by the memory of crashing my bicycle and having to carry it on my shoulders to work when three pretty girls from my high school pulled up next to me and offered me a ride. Out of embarrassment I turned them down and started looking around for a rock to crawl under.
Willing to look all dorked up
What would it take to make you willing to look foolish? What would it require for you to intentionally look all dorked up to other people? There’s a great story in the Bible of a guy who was willing to look foolish to explore faith. Luke 19:1-10 tells the story of a man named Zacchaeus who was willing to look foolish in order to see Jesus. Keep a couple of things in mind about this story, Luke 19:2 tells us this guy had a lot of money and a lot of influence. The fact that he was willing to climb up a tree must’ve made him look absolutely ridiculous to the people in Jericho. I personally believe, the fact that Zacchaeus would go to this extreme, is what got Jesus’s attention. I believe Jesus saw this man’s sincerity.
Working hard not to be the center of attention
For many years, he was considered the center of attention in Jericho. Zacchaeus job was chief tax collector. This means he was employed by the Roman government. He had all the power of the great Roman army and the Roman Caesar behind him. The job of a tax collector was to take money from people and give it to the government. Tax collectors in Bible times often skimmed money from the top. Apparently, Zacchaeus was really good at this because the Bible tells us he was a very wealthy man. Zacchaeus was willing to allowing Jesus to become the center of attention in his little town. He was so serious about Jesus becoming the center of attention that Zacchaeus invited everyone to his house to sit down and to listen to Jesus teach.
Putting it all on the table for the glory of God
After this dinner party with Jesus, Zacchaeus was a changed man. This greedy, power-hungry man became a passionate follower of Jesus Christ. In Luke 19:8 he is willing to give away half of what he owns to the poor and restore everything that he’s wrongfully taken from others. Those poor people were in Zacchaeus’s town all along, but before he met Jesus, he never noticed them. After meeting Jesus Zacchaeus’s soul was changed and now he could see the hurt of the poor people around them. There’s no question, much of Zacchaeus’s wealth came because of stealing from others when they paid their taxes. The fact that he was willing to give back what he stole and help the poor with the rest says this man was totally changed at the soul level. Only Jesus can change a man or a woman that deeply.