Luke 19:1-10 – Zacchaeus

Read Luke 19:1-10

What a story! This has always been a favorite. I’m a little “vertically challenged” myself, so I can totally identify with Zacchaeus’ problem of seeing over the crowd. This is a familiar passage, in particular because of the song we sang as children – can’t help that running through my brain right now. If you’ve never heard it – take a listen HERE.

When I read this passage today I noted a couple things. First, Zacchaeus was searching out Jesus. We’re told this man was a chief tax collector, a “chief”, so probably in charge of a lot of other ruthless tax collectors in the area, and also very rich. When we think of the people following Jesus, we don’t often picture rich tax collectors. (Exception Matthew, a called disciple who left behind that line of work.) What was Zacchaeus’ motive? Why was he so anxious to see Jesus that day? He even climbed up a tree to see him!

We’re told Jesus called him out, spied him up there in that tree. That was the second thing I noted – Jesus knew to be looking and had an agenda with this man. Jesus was going to eat dinner with Zacchaeus. Boy did that surprise the crowd or what? They were grumbling and wondering why Jesus would associate with such a person. We know why — Jesus came for sinners! He came for us.

Zacchaeus then made a very bold statement about how he was going to give away half of his wealth and pay back those he had cheated four times the amount. What a turnaround for this man! The third thing I noted is how Zacchaeus had been so moved by Jesus he was ready to change his life right then and there. What an impact! Was it just that day? Or had Zacchaeus been planning on changing his ways for sometime? God knew his heart and and used this chance encounter to save a sinner’s life.

I love Jesus’ words here, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Jesus’ mission on earth, to find the lost and redeem them, was fulfilled again in this story. Zacchaeus shows us how easy it is to turn from sin and follow the one who is the truth, the way and life. Without Jesus we remain in the dark, lost and alone, not knowing our way home.

What a day for Zacchaeus. It can be that way for us and those who are lost. Jesus is here and available for all who need a Savior. Jesus is calling us today. Are we as anxious to see him that we’d climb a tree? We need to come to Jesus with that sort of intention and determination. We must set everything aside and just be still with Jesus.

Let’s pray. Lord I come to you today with a joyful expectation of what you will do and how you will use me. I ask for your guidance as I speak to people, share with people, and serve them. I love that you have given me this voice, may I use it for your glory. I love that you have put me in this place to enjoy your beauty and tranquility. I pray for those still working and feeling stressed. May they come to you for rest and rejuvenation. You are the way, the truth and the life. Thank you that you have come for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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