Jesus wants to enter into a friendship with you.
Jesus actually invites himself into the house of a man that most people despise. Zacchaeus was the head tax collector in Jericho and he constantly took extra money from people for himself - nobody liked him. When Jesus said, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” Zacchaeus was very excited...most people didn't want to spend time with him.
According to Manning, in the Jewish Tradition, to say "I want to have dinner with you" means "I want to enter into a friendship with you". Even today, this is the custom with the Orthodox Jews...they won't invite you over for dinner unless they want to begin or deepen a friendship with you. Interesting when you consider that we are invited to the communion table with Christ.
(I did just spend some time looking up Jewish Traditions but didn't find any info about dinner and friendship - except that to invite someone to your table is a sign of welcome...fyi).
What I am getting most out of the 19 Mercies so far this week - is that Jesus wants to spend time with me. He wants me as I am and today. And He will celebrates when we are able to change our ways...like Zacchaeus giving half of his possessions to the poor and paying back 4x what he had taken from people. I love the last line of what Jesus says about Zacchaeus... 10“Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”
"...he too is a son of Abraham..." We are all part of the family - no matter what we do. No matter who we think we are and who others think we are.
The question I have for myself is what do I need to change - What have I taken from others. How do I give back. Do I already give back? I spend a lot of time helping others. But honestly that sometimes more about me than about the other people...I have learned that in the past couple of years. I am still working out the balance for that.
I haven't spent this much time studying different stories from the Bible just for myself in a long time...it's been good to listen to Jesus' words just for me. I spend a lot of time with him in prayer - especially when I run - but I don't know if when I am praying...if I am listening very well.
I have a place.