16. The Story of Zacchaeus

16. December 2014

Here is another report of a man who met Jesus. After this meeting that man completely changed his life. Zacchaeus was a tax collector in Jericho. In modern words you might perhaps also say a tax inspector. In those days the tax gatherer had a wide range of possibilities. It had been practically impossible to oppose them. They often collected too much money and put that aside into their private pockets. They used to make a good living out of that. This is what had happened to Zacchaeus:

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. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19, 1 – 10 NIV)

When a person meets Jesus something special is happening to that person. Zacchaeus realised that he had committed quite a lot of evil deeds in his life. He obviously had used his position in order to betray people. Now he felt sorry for that. Zacchaeus had the strong intention to change this and to become a better person. The Bible does not tell us what had later happened with Zacchaeus and whether after the resurrection of Jesus he had belonged to the group of the first Christians. I could imagine he had been one of them.

Jesus wants to meet us. He wants to meet you, too. Jesus wants us to reflect upon our life and to turn away from pure consumerism and rather turn to Him. Jesus is stretching out his hands to us, and all we have to do is grabbing them. Jesus loves us. He loves you, too.