And when Jesus came to that place, he looked upand said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, because I muststay at your house today.” So he came down quickly and welcomed Jesus joyfully … “Look, Lord, half of my possessions I now giveto the poor, and ifI have cheated anyone of anything, I am paying back four times as much!” ThenJesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this household.” (Luke 19:5–6, 8–9)
We learn a lot from the encounter that Zacchaeus had with Jesus Christ. Here was a “money guy” who was hated by his own people because he was a tax collector for the detested Roman government. He was a self-starter, and he really did not care what anyone thought, otherwise he would not have been a tax collector.
Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus Christ, and he knew he had to get ahead of the crowd. No one ever achieved anything of value just by following the crowd. He was short and needed the aid of a tree perch to see Jesus. When he heard the voice of Jesus piercing the noise of the crowd, he responded.
Note the urgency of this encounter. Jesus told him to “come down quickly.” Zacchaeus hurried and came down at the command of the Lord. This is what we must do when we have the opportunity to Jesus. This opportunity would never occur again in Zacchaeus’ life. He had the sense to respond immediately. The encounter changed not only where Zacchaeus would spend eternity, but also impacted how he was acting in this world.
The life of Zacchaeus was changed! His view of Jesus, his view of the world, his view of wealth, and his view of his fellow man were all changed. Zacchaeus was a man of decision. When the Spirit of God enlightened his heart, he was moved to follow through right away with the new insight given to him by the Lord.
Zacchaeus made provision on the spot to give away a large portion of his wealth. He experienced the joy of giving while he was living. His life was forever changed by his encounter with Jesus.
Today, ask yourself:In what ways does my life show that I have been forever changed by my relationship with Jesus?