Written by Allison Sylvester-Conliffe
Zacchaeus, was a chief among the publicans and a rich man. The publicans were the tax collectors of that day, who would usually collect from citizens the taxes due to the government. It was also the nefarious custom of these tax collectors to receive from the people an extra sum of money which was for their own personal gain. These acts were probably what aided Zacchaeus to become a rich man.
Yet, he wanted to see Jesus so badly that he climbed a tree to get a perfect view of the Lord. Why was Zacchaeus so eager? What did he have need of? After all, he could have had all the material gain of this world if he so desired! Yet he was anxious to see who Jesus was – why was that so?
name, (He knows us all by name!) and beckoned him to hastily come down from the tree, for He, Jesus, wanted to abide at his house. I would think that the strangest thing happened next, when one thinks of Zacchaeus’ status in society. The Bible says in verse 6 that Zacchaeus “made haste, and came down” – not only did he hasten to come to Jesus in obedience to Him, the Bible says that he, (Zacchaeus) received Jesus joyfully.
Immediately after receiving Jesus, Zacchaeus repented. You may say that the Bible never said that he repented. I beg to differ. Jesus never once questioned Zacchaeus about his lifestyle and about all the wrong that he had done. Yet, willingly Zacchaeus began to say to Jesus in verse 8, that he would return all that he had wrongfully taken from the people and would give even in greater measure than what he had taken. What was it that had just happened there?
Zacchaeus received what the Bible calls, the gift of Salvation –
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Eph 2:8Let us walk this through – Firstly, this rich man, who had the opportunity to have everything that he could possibly want in this life, has a desire to see Jesus. You and I know very well, that if we have the opportunity of living the good life, with lots of money, none of us - of ourselves - would really spare a thought about Jesus, much more to have a desire to want to see who He is? Clearly the Lord our God must have put the desire into Zacchaeus to go after Jesus. Then, consider regurgitating all your wrong deeds to a person that you barely knew and going even further in committing to make amends for what you have wrongfully done! Clearly those actions say that something supernatural was at hand!
To be continued….