We have probably all heard this event in the life of Zacchaeus and Jesus. But since some might not have, I thought we needed to read it in full so everyone will be on the same page.
Zacchaeus was in darkness. Such darkness fell over him and his sin was great before the Lord. Jesus knew all about him him and had a plan to draw Zacchaeus unto Himself. Zacchaeus didn’t know that Jesus was drawing him and maybe that is the way it is when Jesus draws us to Himself; we just wake up and realize, “Here I am in front of Jesus.”
The story of Zacchaeus is that he was a chief tax collector, that meant he was in charge of other tax collectors and got a lot of money from them, who got it from the Jewish people. Everyone knew what he did for a living and hated him and the rest of the tax collectors. A lot of people went through Jericho to get to Jerusalem and there was a lot of money to be made in taxes. The Romans let the Jews tax as much as they wanted so long as they got what they wanted from the people. The tax collectors could then make a hefty profit from their fellow Jews, and because of that they were hated by everyone.
One day, the Son of David came to Jericho and the crowds were immense but Zacchaeus was small and could not see over everyone. The tree he climbed up into was a sycamore tree, (by the way, when we were in Israel we saw a good many of these trees and they were large and could hold a man and they had some low hanging branches) and it was on the route of the Savior was to take. When Jesus got to the tree Zacchaeus was in, Jesus stopped and looked up at him, and calling him by name, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”
Remember, I said that Jesus is showing us an example of “seeking for the lost.” How did He know Zacchaeus was lost? Jesus knows everything. How can we know who is lost and who to share the Gospel with? If you remember Jesus said that you would have the Holy Spirit, and He is to lead you, give you the wisdom to seek the lost and find them so you could witness to them. Also notice that Jesus said to Zacchaeus, “I must” stay at your house today. Jesus knew this event was coming and planned to be at the house of this tax collector so he might be confronted with the Good News of eternal life.
The hated little man quickly responded to Jesus who wanted to go to his house. Who else ever wanted to go to his house but others just like him? Jesus, a Man of worth and value, wanted to spend time with him and so he was excited and “welcomed Him joyfully.” When Jesus came into his house a change came upon Zacchaeus, he was different and the evidence proved it. Notice he said, something had happened to him such that he would give…