Zacchaeus and Repentance

There are so many things we can learn from the story of Zacchaeus.
  • There are people who so desperately want to see Jesus that they will climb trees to do it.  Be someone’s tree.  Help them see Jesus.
  • Jesus would rather hang out with sinners than than spend His time with the religious.  He entered Jericho and went straight up to the worst of sinners – a tax collector who had cheated his own people on behalf of the Romans.  He didn’t go to the synagogue first.  He went to Zacchaeus’ house.
  • Jesus isn’t a china doll.  By that, I mean that sometimes we’re so protective of Jesus and we don’t want Him getting into the wrong hands.  We may thing to ourselves, “Those people are so dirty and sinful.  They don’t deserve Jesus.  They don’t understand what He did for them.  They don’t get it.”  Quit hoarding Jesus!  Share Him and His love with everyone you meet!

Perhaps the most important thing that we can learn from this story, though, is that salvation comes when we repent.  Jesus came into Zacchaeus’ home, but Zacchaeus wasn’t saved until Jesus came into His heart.  By that I mean that the Gospel penetrated Zacchaeus’ heart and brought about repentance.  He had gotten rich off of cheating people.  So he vowed to give away half of his possessions to help the poor.  He vowed to repay those he had cheated four times what he had swindled from them.  Zacchaeus repented of his sin and turned to Jesus and Jesus forgave Him.  

Salvation without repentance is not possible.  Repentance is a change of mind and heart that leads to a change of behavior.  Repentance happens when someone experiences the love of Jesus.  May those of us who have experienced His love draw a line in the sand of repentance today.  By the power of God’s Holy Spirit, I will be changed today.  I will not resist the Spirit’s power in my life.  I will allow the Spirit to change me today.

Luke 19:1-10 (NIV)

Zacchaeus the Tax Collector

19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”


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