Sunday, March 26, 2017

Luke for Lent - Part 4 of 7

Title: Zaccheus
Artist: J. Kirk Richards
Medium: Oil on Panel
Size: 72 x 25 in
Date: 2001
Location: Private collection

Luke 19:1-10: Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Jesus has said that it is hard for a rich person to be saved, but the salvation of Zacchaeus shows it is not impossible. Though Zacchaeus had a great curiosity to see Jesus, having heard great talk of what kind of a man he was, he could not get his curiosity gratified because he was little, and the crowd was great. Christ did not ride in an open chariot, as princes do, that all men might see him; He came as one of us, lost in a crowd. But those that sincerely desire a sight of Christ will use the proper means for gaining a sight of him, and will break through difficulty and opposition, and be willing to take pains to see him. Christ looked up into the tree, and saw Zacchaeus.He encouraged weak beginnings, and helped them forward. He that had a mind to know Christ shall be known of him; he that only courted to see him shall be admitted to converse with him.

American artist J. Kirk Richards is becoming increasingly known for his accomplishments as a painter of Judeo-Christian themes. Richards was born near Brigham Young University in Utah, and as a teen he took private lesson from artist Clayton Williams to supplement his public school studies. Upon graduation was accepted into the BYU art program, studying with artists such as Bruce Smith and Hagen Haltern. During his Missionary work he spent time in Rome where he was able to immerse himself in the Italian culture of art, which he says had a lasting effect on his painting. He notes that the colors in Italy are reflected a lot in his work - the rust browns and a lot of the color choices, such as the muted palette and the color harmonies found in Italian architecture. More of his work is featured on his website

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