Zacchaeus Was a Wee Little Man (Luke 19:1-10)

 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.’ ”

8 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.”

9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”  (Luke 19:1-10)
Learn it:

            This story has been canonized in song by Sunday school for children.  In the song, we learn that because Zacchaeus saw the Lord, he became a happy man.  This is a very simple way, but effective, of understanding this story.  Zacchaeus saw himself as the culture saw him.  As a greedy tax collector who did not deserve to have face time with Jesus.  It appears that Zacchaeus knew who Jesus was and just wanted to get a glimpse of Jesus.  Yet Jesus had a bigger plan for him! 

            Jesus said that he “must” stay at his house.  Jesus wanted to show the crowd that his message was good for ALL people.  Not just the people society said was good.  When the crowds heard that Jesus wanted to stay at a tax collectors house they began to murmur.  Jesus was not concerned with what they thought.  By spending time with Zacchaeus Jesus changed his life!  Zacchaeus wanted to not only live a more generous life, but he wanted to correct the wrongs he had done in his life.  Jesus saw his heart changed and he was now a believer.  This is the purpose of Jesus’ ministry, “to seek and save what was lost.”

Live it:

            There’s a lot in this story we can learn.  From Zacchaeus we can learn what true repentance looks like.  When a person understands who Jesus is, it will cause a person to radically change their life.  Hopefully when you look back at your life to before you submitted your life to Christ and after, you see a change.  We should also be wanting to make amends with any people we treated poorly after we came to faith.  This is a beautiful way of spreading the gospel and showing the grace of God. 

                Second, we need to have the same mission that Jesus did.  As individuals and as the Church we need to be seeking and saving the lost.  This means more than just having a place that is open to all people.  The body of Christ needs to be “seeking” unbelievers.  If you only have Christian’s as friends, then something in your life needs to change.  It can be awkward and uncomfortable building relationships with unbelievers.  That is something we should welcome if it means they will have a chance to hear the gospel.  This is something we are all called to do and hopefully we are leaning on the Holy Spirit for the strength to do it! 

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