Public opinion has played an important role in the past, not only in today’s society, but God does not evaluate people according to the general public opinion, but according to their inner state, Patriarch Daniel explained during his sermon last Sunday.
On January 26, 2020, Patriarch Daniel attended the Divine Liturgy celebrated at St Gregory the Enlightener Chapel of the patriarchal residence and offered his reflections on the meeting between Jesus Christ and Zacchaeus the tax collector.
‘Jesus does not judge people hastily, according to public opinion,’ the Patriarch stressed.
The crowd in Jericho was amazed that the Saviour Jesus Christ invited Himself to enter the house of an immoral and greedy tax collector and charged this public gesture by “murmuring and judging Christ considering that He should not go to this sinner’s house.”
“We see here that the public opinion knew the bad deeds of Zacchaeus the tax collector, but the public opinion did not know the spiritual states of Zacchaeus, it did not know that in his soul there was a shift to live his life differently,” the Patriarch emphasized, noting the superficiality with which we relate to those around us most often.
‘But Jesus, the heart-knower of all, saw this state, this desire for an inner change of Zacchaeus the tax collector,’ Patriarch Daniel said.
“So Jesus has a different judgment than the judgment of the crowds who knew only the bad deeds of Zacchaeus, but not his desire to change for the better,” said the Patriarch of Romania.
Knowing the inner aspects hidden from the human sight, the desire of each to change spiritually, Christ first offers help and then evaluates, without changing his judgment under the pressure of public opinion.
“We see that before judging people the Saviour Jesus Christ wants to help them, to heal them, to raise them from sin, as He Himself says: ‘I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world,’ that is, to free it from sin and death.”
“Here we see first that Christ does not allow Himself to be influenced by the crowd because He has a plan. His plan is to save those who seek Him, those who wish to renew their relations with God and with others.”