Dr. Jeanette Parker
Dr. Jeanette Parker (File Photo)

Now that we are in the stretch of the Holiday season, thoughts turn to happiness. Charities are looking for contributions and there are many. Jesus said the poor will always be with you and acknowledged that seeking salvation was “the most” important to be done. We cannot in and of our selves be counted among the most blessed, the elect. Jesus said not many will be saved.

A quick look at this statement could be discouraging to many. But life is sort of like running a race. Athletes, musicians, lawyers, teachers and many other well trained professionals practice and rehearse faithfully. Living a Christian life and following in the path and example of Jesus is hard work.

Jesus had a rough time of it. He was unmercifully questioned and criticized. When He trespassed the Sabbath by healing the sick, lame, blind and others, He was ridiculed and called names. He was called a bastard, a blasphemer.

There were legalists who preferred no mercy on the Sabbath and carrying a pallet was a trespass and called “work,” which was prohibited during certain times. He was no push over and didn’t major in the minors. His critics sought to destroy Him and, of course, they did eventually crucify Him having treated Him with no respect by many. God works all the time. {thank  you Lord}.

That’s one of the great benefits about loving Our Lord God and following in “the way” of Christ. His “door is always open.” One might ask, “How can this be?” Yes. It is true. No prearranged schedule of subject matter. You don’t need an “Agenda.” Unscheduled visits are accepted. This is critically important. You don’t have to dress up in fancy clothes or dress down and be a hypocrite pretending to be something you are not. COME AS YOU ARE!

How does he do this? He does it by His Holy Spirit. There are some sustaining words which I recite to myself subconsciously and orally. They are words of faith. “I love you Lord.”

I may not be the most intelligent person ever, but I know words of sustaining faith: I KNOW that you are God and God alone. I KNOW there is only one God. I KNOW that You are God alone all by yourself. I KNOW you are creator. You created the heavens, the earth, the entire universe is that you don’t have to make an appointment to talk to Him.  I KNOW that Your only Son was there with you. I KNOW your son walked here as God incarnate fully God and fully man. I KNOW that by faith, we can call on you and you will answer. I KNOW that you are not like man who will lie at the slur of the tongue.

Jesus was criticized for going to the house of Zacchaeus because Zacchaeus was viewed as a big-time sinner.  He was a tax collector. Jesus made it clear, “I have come to save that which was lost.”

He did not come to just feather the cap of someone who already had “it going on;” He came to fill the lives of those who wanted their lives “filled to the brim.” He came to the lost who wanted salvation and those who were seeking something more fulfilling in their lives.

So was the case with Zacchaeus, who exercised the same kind of faith as Abraham. Jesus invited himself to the tax gatherer’s house. The tax gatherers were some of the most hated and despised. Jesus was and is now, the seeker. He is the caller and He is the gatherer. That’s how He is now.

He will come to you because there is a need. What is that need? Even now our government either has hired or is going to hire hundreds more tax collectors. Do we want these knocking at our door, taking away from us? I already know the answer to that.

We want more of Him. We yearn to know Him more and to know Him better. We want to partner with Hm and share in Him that He will allot to us a portion of His goodness and greatness. Jesus brought into Zacchaeus ‘life a radical change.

Jesus’ presence and self-invitation was and is what we need. He committed half of his goods to the poor which before as a tax gatherer, he had gouged as much as he could from those, he was collecting taxes. He became a changed man, paying back what he had wrongfully exacted from the taxpayers! His conversion undoubtedly impressed those who were around him too. Not only that he would make a fourfold restitution to those who he had cheated or overcharged for taxes and dealt dishonestly with the taxpayers. Now, being controlled by love, he paid off his debts and sought the pathway of love rather than greed. Oh’ My how the Lord changes hearts when He comes to the scene.

He is our “secret weapon.” Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life and that you may live life more abundantly.” (John 10:10) When we respond to Jesus’ call with selflessness, giving, generosity and love, we have more of Jesus. When we have more of Jesus, we have more satisfying life. Jesus came and said I have come to seek and to save. He always has purpose; never aimless. When He was at the pool of Bethesda, what happened? He was seeking. He was calling. He was gathering.

He knew exactly where to go to find the neediest. There he was at the pool. The sick, paralyzed, crippled, lame, were there and the halt (couldn’t walk but a few steps, but had to stop and regain balance). The blind was there. They believed when the gushes of water came whoever got into the water first would be healed.

This one man among many Jesus selected for healing. He was a demonstration case, an object lesson, so that others around him could see and be witness to this miracle. He sought out the man who had been paralyzed for thirty plus eight years. He wanted to be healed, but there was no one to get him there first to be put in the gushing waters, which they believed an angel would come and bring healing. Now that the paralyzed man had been healed, they must now see and realize there is something more to healing than “waiting for the moving of the waters.” There was another way where many could be healed.

He was the “caller.” His miracle called in the attention of many others there to let them know that healing was available to them too without waiting hopelessly, endlessly for the water to come gushing forth. This was an amazing new reality for them. His miracle working power brought joy and intense persecution and criticism to death. How is it He dared violate the rules of the ecclesiastics that no work would be done on the Sabbath. The paralytic picked up his pallet and walked on the Sabbath and Jesus was in bold violation of it. The Sabbath was sacred to them above saving a life and relieving pain, suffering and crippled body.

They sought to pursue Him and kill him. This was their way. They believed themselves to be right. Sometimes people think they are right in their own eyes, but in the eyes of the Almighty God, they are wrong. It’s difficult for people to come to their own wrongness. The Psalmist said it so correctly, Psalm 139.

You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down. You know when I get up. You know me wherever I am. If I am in the uttermost parts of the earth, you know where I am. Even before I was in the womb and before I was born, you knew me then.”

That’s how God is and let us not forget there is no place we can go, and God doesn’t know. I encourage you to get to know Him deeply. He knows each one of us intimately. He knows. He knows every beat of your heart, he knows.

Thanks for reading! 

Jeanette Grattan Parker is Founder-Superintendent Today’s Fresh Start Charter School 4514 Crenshaw Boulevard, LA 90043 323-293-9826 www.todaysfreshstart.org (Ask Dr. Jeanette TM) Inquiring Minds Want to Know” All articles are copyright. All rights reserved © The Holy Bible New Testament, Errors? Let me know. Sundays for music & message: 11:30am {1-712-775-8971—code 266751}References: (The Holy Bible) Pray. Hope. Be consistent. Be persistent.