This morning we are focusing on a short man of high-ranking IRS officer.
When Lord Jesus was approaching Jericho, he healed a blind poor beggar from the lowest social class.
Today we look at Zacchaeus, a very wealthy Tax collector from the top social ladder.
The first four verses talk about a sinner.
In those days a tax collector works for Rome and Jews thought they were traitors.
Always chief tax collector’s job was very lucrative and many opportunities to make money.
Zacchaeus was able to take a cut in the taxes collected for him.
In the eyes of religious leaders he was considered sinner because the tax collectors were often linked with murderers, adulterers, robbers, and other “sinners.”
For some reason in verse 3, Zacchaeus wanted to see who Lord Jesus was.
Probably he heard Lord’s healing miracles and the recent blind beggar being healed on the outskirts of Jericho.
He heard for sure that the Lord was walking through his own town, Jericho.
Zacchaeus had a problem that he was a very short man.
Verse 4: “So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.”
The desire to see the Lord made him to run and climb a tree putting aside his dignity.
Sycamore trees often grew by the side of the road and had branches that grew out horizontally from the trunk.
In our recent trip to Israel we did see the sycamore tree in Jericho city.
He was determined to see Jesus and did not care what others thought of him.
5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”
Lord Jesus took notice of Zacchaeus when HE came up to the sycamore tree.
He stopped at the tree looked up and called him by name.
Zacchaeus immediately knew that Lord Jesus was the Messiah.
We would never be able to come to Lord Jesus unless He came to us first.
Lord not only ordered him to come down but also told him that HE is going visit his home.
In verses 6-10 we see how salvation had visited the home of Zacchaeus.
He never expected that the Lord would take notice of him and talk to him.
Now the Lord Jesus is coming over to his house for dinner.
He was excited and overwhelmed with great joy.
Why the Lord did express the necessity of going to the house of Zacchaeus?
These religious leaders never invited such people to their homes or go their homes.
Lord’s intention was to teach them a lesson by going to Zacchaeus house.
It was not just the religious leaders but even the disciples were not happy against such move by the Lord.
After the meal Zacchaeus responded to the call on his life.
His conversion was evident in what he said publicly to make things right in his life.
Biblical repentance always goes hand-in-hand with restitution because conversion is a radical life-changing event.
He is now a different man - so he declares that he will give half of his possessions to the poor and will make restitution at four times the amount he swindled.
Lord’s declaration was twofold.
Salvation had visited Zacchaeus home and by his faith he too became the son of Abraham.
Simply to say that all people who accept the gift of salvation will become the spiritual children of Abraham as he stood as the father of the faithful.
Lord Jesus declares one more time to the benefit of all that HIS very purpose to come to the Planet Earth was to seek and save the sinner.
Today HE is standing at the door of every human heart and knocking so that HE can come in and transform that life totally.