Grace Seeks Out

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person— though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die.” (Romans 5:6-7)

I texted my brother and sister brainstorming for stories of when we had messed up as kids. Once we bypassed the “I do not know what you’re talking about because I was perfect” jokes, we each shared a brief story of our shortcomings. One of us hit a tennis ball through the living room window, another scraped a car backing out of a mall parking lot, and one cheated on a fourth-grade spelling test. At the time of the offense, we each sat with shame and impending panic of punishment we knew we deserved. Each story, however, was threaded with the grace of our parents; no matter the size of the “mess up,” we never feared our actions would extinguish their love for us.

The love between parent and child shines but a fraction compared to the Lord’s love for His children, ungodly and unworthy as we come. Contrary to Zacchaeus’ name meaning “pure one,” his livelihood benefited from financially extorting people. Luke 19 tells us he climbed the tree to see Jesus; perhaps climbing up positioned him to see, but not be seen. I have heard of the miracles performed by this man, but surely there is a limit to such grace. Therefore, I smile at the reality that unfolds: Jesus stops directly at the tree and looks up, and a small statured man stares into the eyes of the Lord. “‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.’ So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.” (Luke 19:5-6)

Jesus is days away from His execution on the cross. He could have preached a sermon before large crowds, healed the sick, or raised the dead from their grave. Instead, He chooses to pass through Jericho for the salvation of one man. Zacchaeus, corrupt and broken, garnered the full attention of His creator. 

My posture changes when I am in the presence of my mom and dad. It is safe here, and love does not need to be earned. They love their children when we have nothing but shattered glass, insurance claims, and phone calls from teachers to offer in return. Their grace is abundant, but His is more. 

By Bethany Taylor

Bethany has been calling Immanuel Baptist her church home since 2014. A graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, she is now an obstetric nurse here in Lexington.

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