Life with Jesus Christ is exciting! Once you encounter Him in a personal and relational way, you are never the same. Your future is not predictable either. Your joy is full, your heart is big, and your attitudes and actions are forever altered. Life becomes an adventure. – 

Come see by this man’s life >     Zacchaeus

            The Bible tells of a man named Zacchaeus who was a tax collector. In Jesus’ day, tax collectors were despised by the people because they stole money from those from whom they collected taxes. When the Roman government told them to take 20% taxes from a person, they might take 40% and keep the extra 20% for themselves. This was common practice. Zacchaeus was one of these tax collectors. 

    Let’s read about Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10.

1Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through.   

Jesus was travelling all over the region in those days. Jesus was teaching, healing, listening and being with every kind of person. 

2A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.

Not only was Zacchaeus a tax collector, but he was a CHIEF tax collector. That means Zacchaeus could extract money from those tax collectors who reported to him. Yes, Zacchaeus was exorbitantly wealthy, very rich, extremely rich! 

3He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd.

             Zacchaeus was curious about Jesus. He had heard about Jesus and wanted to find out for himself who this Jesus was. Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus. Zacchaeus was too short to stand with the crowd and be able to see Jesus. 

4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

            Zacchaeus ran ahead of the crowd and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to be able to get a look at Jesus. Zacchaeus planned ahead with great excitement to be able get a closer look at Jesus. Zacchaeus didn’t care if people saw him, a roman employee, in this undignified position because he was so eager to see Jesus. Zacchaeus knew Jesus was coming in that direction so Zacchaeus planned on how he could see Jesus when He came by.

        Background and Insight – it was well known that Jesus was a Good Man, a Teacher of what was right, a healer of the sick, and someone who was a friend to anyone. Knowing this about Jesus, Zacchaeus did not run or hide in fear of Jesus. Zacchaeus did not tremble with guilt at the thought of being close to Jesus. Instead, Zacchaeus eagerly sought out a way for being closer to Jesus. Zacchaeus thought Jesus was approachable. 

5When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today."

        Jesus approached Zacchaeus directly. With eye contact and some words, Jesus gave Zacchaeus two orders. Immediately come down from that tree and walk with me because I must stay at your personal home this day.

6So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

Zacchaeus’ reaction was joyful! What an honor to have the most publicized rabbi come to his own home!! Zacchaeus jumped right down and must have walked like a peacock next to Jesus’ side until they reached his home. Zacchaeus gladly welcomed Jesus. 

        Background and Insight –  In that day and culture, when someone came to your home, you were most hospitable. You set out food and drink, making sure your guest had everything they could possibly desire. You would be sure their seating area, the entertainment, and more was of the utmost in pleasure. You might want to impress them with your generosity so they would think well of you. Being a chief tax collector, Zacchaeus had much to share in way of hospitality. 

        While visiting, people in that day spent a lot of time together in conversation and discussion. Certainly Zacchaeus would ask Jesus many questions and be listening intently to all that Jesus said. They would discuss as many subjects as the numerous courses of meals they ate. The visit would have lasted many hours.  

7All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.' "

            As it still happens today, people judged Jesus. They put Him into a box where He didn’t belong. (Mark 10:27) They saw Jesus with their own measuring glass. They condemned Jesus for being a guest of someone they despised, a chief tax collector. They thought Jesus was bad because of whom He was visiting. 

8But 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."

            Zacchaeus changed! Zacchaeus didn’t change because he just found out he had been stealing for all this time. Zacchaeus didn’t change because he wanted to be a good religious person now. Zacchaeus didn’t change because he suddenly didn’t want his money anymore. No, Zacchaeus changed because he met, spent time with, and talked with Jesus Christ. Zacchaeus now had a relationship with Jesus. Zacchaeus knew Jesus and trusted Jesus. By this singular and powerful relationship, Jesus Christ changed Zacchaeus’ heart on the inside.  

            Zacchaeus’ change is evident by his words and actions.

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:17, + 1 Thessalonians 1:3

Zacchaeus willfully chose to make restitution for his sinful actions. No one can do this unless they are genuinely converted to being God’s child. Zacchaeus’ words and actions show he was genuinely repentant of his sins against God. (Repent, confess hy) 

Zacchaeus demonstrates that he is under Jesus Christ’s authority. Zacchaeus called Jesus “Lord”. Jesus didn’t covertly coerce Zacchaeus, nor did Jesus bully Zacchaeus. Instead, the Word of God from Jesus’ heart and lips did the work. 1 Peter 1:23; Luke 5:1; John 6:63; John 6:68

Background and Insight –  The law of that day required a penalty of one-fifth as restitution for fraudulent taxation. Zacchaeus chose to do more than was lawfully required, acknowledging his personal crime as more severe than the law judged it. 

        Zacchaeus gave restitution for more than was required by law. Additionally, Zacchaeus chose to give half of his possessions to the poor. This was a magnanimous and costly donation from a man of such accumulated wealth. Why would Zacchaeus even consider such things? Because of his relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, Zacchaeus found inconceivable spiritual riches. Zacchaeus no longer needed such material wealth, but instead derived love from God and joy from the righteousness of God. John 7:38; Matthew 6:33; John 15:1-17

9Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.

        Jesus declares to Zacchaeus that the salvation of God has come to Zacchaeus’ house today. Jesus says that Zacchaeus was saved from the kingdom of darkness and brought to the kingdom of light that day. (See Salvation) Jesus states that Zacchaeus is now a son of Abraham, a righteous Jew. What a change from what Zacchaeus was just a few hours ago, before he met and spoke with Jesus! Luke 3:8; Ezekiel 36:25-29; Ezekiel 11:19-20; Psalm 55:16; Psalm 68:20; Isaiah 25:9; John 14:6; John 10:28-30 

 “For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; … I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.” Isaiah 43:3,11

10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."

        Jesus’ goal was to seek those in the kingdom of darkness and save them from the power of the devil. Jesus’ goal was to find those who were lost and entangled by the lies of their soul’s enemy (devil hy) and save them by His Word of Truth. 

        Jesus’ goal has not changed even today. Jesus is still alive today. Jesus did physically die, but He also physically became alive again. Then Jesus physically rose into heaven where He sits at the right hand of God interceding for us. Matthew 27:32-66; Matthew 28; Acts 1:1-11; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25

Are you lost? Are you eagerly looking to see Jesus? Are you the one Jesus Christ is seeking to save right now? Will you dine and sup with Him now? Will you engage the Lord Jesus Christ in conversation just where you are? Jesus says, Come to Me”, "Come Near".  Also Sinners PrayerRepentMy Room  , RepentanceConfessFriendship with God    



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