The story of Zacchaeus has many things to teach us, both about ourselves as followers of Jesus and about Jesus Himself. Perhaps the most amazing part of the story is found in Luke 19:6-10. Let’s take a look:
“And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.’ Zacchaeus stopped and said to the Lord, ‘Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.’”
Zacchaeus was a person who made his living in the streets. He was a swindler—a racketeer. People knew him for his shady manipulations and exploits. However, we see here that the goodness of Jesus compelled him to make his wrongs right. The watching crowd didn’t understand it, but this is Jesus’s specialty—the mission He came to earth to fulfill.
Jesus says in Mark 2:17, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” The amazing thing is that, whether they knew it or not, everyone in that crowd qualified as a sinner. Not only did Jesus save this man; He also worked through Zacchaeus’s conversion to bless everyone that had ever been ripped off by the tax collector. When you belong to Jesus, He will make your wrongs right!
Here’s the truth: Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. That includes you and me. If we’ve already accepted Him, He wants to change us in such a way that we bless others and point them to Jesus. The question is, will you obediently do what God is asking you to do? Will you surrender what you have to Him? Will you join Him in seeking and saving the lost?
Dr. Derek Grier