“And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” Luke 19:5-7
At the risk of being honest and sounding like a jaded person, I am growing increasingly impatient with the pharisaic attitude of some believers. If only those who act in this sanctimonious way could see the negative fruit they are producing!
Instead of advancing the kingdom, they are trying to keep everyone and everything in the kingdom static, looking and behaving exactly as they are. Unfortunately, this group of fault finders is inconceivably effective and they make many people miserable, just like themselves. They become very unpleasant company and, in fact, not too different than the characters that show up in the last verse of the above section. These complainers somehow found fault in anything Jesus did.
Fault Finders Then & Now
Fault finders, then and now, are all aggressively unearthing the faults or potential faults (at least as they see them) of others. However, these people all share another attribute; that their noses are extraordinarily sensitive to the faults of others, but numb to their own stench. They reek of legalism, pride and arrogance, but they still manage to “sniff” out what they believe to be bad motives of other people’s hearts in doing good things (i.e. Jesus asking to have dinner with Zacchaeus, and Zacchaeus accepting him joyfully). I don’t want to belabor this, other than to say, if you are a Christian PLEASE don’t respond the way these religious leaders did!
May we all be like Jesus and be loving to those who seem unlovable. Be accepting even to those we may regard as faulty. Rather than throwing stones and assuming the worst, let’s be a church filled with refreshing, joyful, encouraging people. Let’s show this refreshment and joy to both the world and to each other!