Monthly Archives: November 2013

Economics of Zacchaeus

But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.”  Luke 19:8

Economics is about incentives.

Companies or persons hand their resources if in return they get incentives or benefits above what they gave.

Knowing that this guy Zacchaeus is the chief tax collector, accounting or economics are his daily life. He looks for financial benefits in every transaction. His eyes scans the numbers and says if it’s a deal or not.

Not today.

Look at his economics.

Before meeting Jesus:

Net Worth = Z (this is his total worth, assets minus liabilities)

Moments after meeting Jesus:

Net Worth = Z – 0.5*Z = 0.5Z (this is his total worth after giving half to the poor)

Further moments after meeting Jesus:

Net Worth = 0.5Z – image002 (this is his total worth after giving back 4 times to what he extorted per person, E, from the number of people he extorted, n)

Zacchaeus threw what he learned all his life about economic benefits out of his window. His financial worth decreased moment after moment after meeting the Christ. Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house…” (Luke 19:9) and Zacchaeus, by his economics, replied, “It’s a deal!”.

We don’t know if he came back to his job as the chief tax collector, I bet he resigned! We don’t know if he became a full time follower of Jesus, just like the Twelve, I bet he did in his own small ways! This is what we surely know – his life turned around and he realized it’s not about the money. That life is not about these financial benefits thus he was willing to give almost all he got.

Jesus saved him. And that is an enough incentive.

 

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Thank You, Ninety-Nine!

What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? Luke 15:4

You were in the desert. And you stayed, not strayed.

For me to be found, the shepherd leaves you in that barren place. No fences but you remained firm. No boundaries but you kept your feet from wandering. The shepherd found me as I’m lost, and he found me because you were steadfast. You held your ground even in the desert.

I left because of that desert — a place where I don’t want to be.

  • A desert of unemployment.
  • A dry land of an exhausting disease.
  • A barren married and family life.
  • An unfruitful church or community.
  • A dead end friendship or relationship.
  • A financial struggle which gave me dryness.
  • A career without a direction.

But here you are, still in the desert, when we came back. Still in the desert but you’re still faithful. Still in the desert and you’re still constant. Still in the desert but you’re still loyal. Though it seems he left you in that desert, you still hindered his voice. You still followed his words. You lived as if he is leading you.

As I come back to the flock, I know I can make it through the desert for the shepherd is with me and you are with me. His grace and your shining example will light my path. Side by side, I will walk with your inspiration. I will follow your footsteps and I will mirror your faithfulness. I will step in your shoes and I will run the race with your consistency.

I know I have to thank the shepherd mainly for finding me. I also know I have to thank you for him to find me.

Thank you, Ninety-Nine!

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