19:1 He entered Jericho and was passing through it.
19:2 A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich.
19:3 He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature.
19:4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way.
19:5 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.”
19:6 So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him.
19:7 All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.”
19:8 Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.”
19:9 Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham.
19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”
There is no one that is ever outside God’s Grace. Even those who are deemed to be the “worst” of sinners can always be reached by God’s loving and gracious hand. This story teaches that God’s hand can move in powerful ways even when we think it is impossible to do so.
God’s Grace is always readily available to anyone who seeks it. God’s gracious hand is there to seek and save lost sinners and that was His man mission when He came to this world. There were many lost souls that had not yet met and heard about Gods love God’s word does not reveal to us what drove Zacchaeus to follow Christ. Whether it was out of mere curiosity, intrigue or a desire to change. we see that the end result was that he was saved.
HIs life turned a complete turn when he encountered Christ. Jesus did not judge him, but simply invited Zacchaeus to allow for Him to come into his home and into his heart. This was a life changing moment and awesome display of Gods Holy Spirit moving to convict and change the heart of one who He intends to reach.
Jesus’ actions towards Zacchaeus is a summary of the gospel in one scene. First, Jesus came to save the lost. He came to save the sinners. Secondly, Jesus went out of His way to publicly notice Zacchaeus and dine with him. Third, Zacchaeus is moved by God’s grace and mercy in the face of his sins. Lastly, Zacchaeus is declared saved once he says he is going to right all his wrongs. This last piece I think is important to understanding the gospel message.
Zacchaeus had an internal change. His heart was softened and it was followed by outward actions. This is what Jesus and Paul called spiritual fruit. Our salvation should have evidences that are seen outward. We ought to behave in a way that reflects that we are children of God and followers of Jesus Christ.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness… (Galatians 5:22)