Friday, February 3, 2023

What You and I Have In Common With Zacchaeus…

 Friday, February 3, 2023

He entered Jericho and was passing through.  And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  Luke 19:1-10

What You and I Have In Common With Zacchaeus

Jesus and the Disciples were passing through Jericho. There was a tax collector named Zacchaeus in the city that heard He was coming, and he wanted to see Him. But he was a very short man, so he climbed a tree so he could see Jesus when He passed by. If you grew up in church, you probably sang a song about the wee little man named Zacchaeus. 

Being a tax collector, Zacchaeus was not well liked, in fact, people had much hatred for tax collectors. Zacchaeus was an IRS agent and a traitor to his country. Roman taxes were excessive, and tax collectors worked directly for the Roman occupation. With no laws protecting the hard-working people, they had to pay unfair amounts and the tax collectors added extra for themselves. Zacchaeus was rich because of this practice of overtaxing and stealing from the people. 

As Jesus passed the tree that Zacchaeus was in, He looked up and said Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today. Zacchaeus was excited – he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. Zacchaeus was so affected by this that he declared Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold. Jesus immediately proclaimed that salvation had come to Zacchaeus’ house, and that even a tax collector was now a Son of Abraham – a reference to Zacchaeus’ faith. Some talked badly about Jesus because He was going to eat with a hated sinner. But Jesus doesn’t care what others said about Him. He was doing the work He was supposed to do – ministering to the lost. 

You and I have much in common with Zacchaeus: 

We are selfish sinners. We are naturally selfish born sinners. We were all born as sinners and being selfish comes naturally to us. Being unselfish is not natural and something we have to discipline ourselves to do. Zacchaeus was selfish, but he repented and changed his ways because of Jesus. Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold. V8

Jesus Still Comes To Our House. Even when our lives are full of sin, Jesus still comes. In fact, He comes because our lives are full of sin. He doesn’t turn His back on us or cast us away calling us unclean. He doesn’t turn His face from us or treat us with disdain. He still comes to us, pursues us, loves us. Zacchaeus was a sinner, but the King of Kings went to his house to have dinner with him. He was disliked by many, but Jesus saved His soul. Jesus wanted a relationship with Zacchaeus, not to just preach at him. He wanted to spend time with him. He longs to have that with us too. 

The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost - all of us. Jesus came for people like Zacchaeus and you and me. He came for the lost, dead in their sin. He offers acceptance, love, redemption, and salvation to the lost. Zacchaeus sought Jesus, even though he was the one that was lost, and Jesus had everything he needed to be found. 

Zacchaeus thought he had everything. He had money and he had things, but he found out that he had nothing he truly needed. He met Jesus, who came to seek and save the lost, and he found everything he ever needed. He has everything you and I will ever need as well. 


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