Jesus Comes to Zacchaeus’ House
19 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way.5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”
8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
The tax collectors were appointed by the Roman government, and they were to collect the taxes that funded it. Calculations were made for the right amounts owed, but once those limits were met, the tax collectors were unsupervised and unregulated as to collecting more than was necessary, hence, they were especially despised, and frequently lumped in with harlots as especially heinous types of sinners.
But yet, we have the story of Matthew, who when Jesus called to him, left everything.
Matthew the Tax Collector
27 After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” 28 So he left all, rose up, and followed Him.
29 Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them. 30 And their scribes and the Pharisees complained against His disciples, saying, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
31 Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
Indeed, He admonished His own disciples that distractions would not help their cause:
33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.
It was no less with Zacchaeus, who, like Matthew, we are told, also received Jesus joyfully, and again, the questions of the Pharisees regarding this practice come around again.
7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”
Jesus again answers with the same thing, said a different way:
10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
But what is often overlooked here is the joy Zacchaeus felt, so convicted of his wrong in Jesus’ presence, that he actually wanted the Lord to witness his repentance.
Are we that confident in our repentance, in our faith in mercy and grace, in the New Covenant itself, that when we turn again to the Father through our faith in the Son, we can say, “Look, Lord…” ?
Are we brave enough to call Heaven’s attention to the changing of our ways, the words of our mouths and meditations of our hearts, and our communion with the Holy Spirit?
Will we make restitution to our King, restoring ourselves to His mercy and grace, seeking His forgiveness of our sins in His authority as the Son of G-d, and through faith in His finished work on the cross as the Son of Man?
Like Zacchaeus climbing the tree, how far will we go to see a glimpse of our Savior’s face, how much effort are we going to put in to our salvation to get into His presence, and seek His blessing and favor over ourselves and our houses?
Let us be ready to feast with Him, that the wrath of the Father not abide on us. Let us restore our fellowship with Jesus, that we might be saved and raised on the last day.
Let us not grow weary of doing good, but neither let us tire of resting in Him, knowing that all our work will be tested, all our secrets brought to light, but all of our sins forgiven by the shedding of His blood.
May we be confident enough in our faith walk to seek His face, saying to Him as He fellowships with us: “Look, Lord…”
Therefore I pray:
I confess now, Lord Jesus, that I am sick, and lost, and as You are the Great Physician and the Good Shepherd, I ask that You forgive me, heal me, and convict me of all unrighteousness by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Let me make my restitution to those I’ve wronged, and restore myself once again to the Father, who hates dishonest scales.
Let it be said of me that salvation has come to me and my house, for Jesus noticed my zeal in seeking Him. I thank You, Lord Jesus, for the covenant of grace and mercy that abides on me through You, in You, and of You. Let me not substitute Your spotless, blameless righteousness and favor for the sake of earthly things that will pass away.
May it be true of me that I want You to see the good works I’m doing, forgiving those who’ve wronged me, and restoring that which I’ve taken without gratitude, or the means to repay.
It is a great debt You’ve forgiven me, so that I might forgive others who’ve wronged me.
May I joyously receive Your blessing over me and my house, standing in Your presence, unable to make restitution for redemption, and unable to attain it through anything I might do.
May my heart feast with You in heavenly places, even as it burns within me as we walk together in the day, far spent. Call me to celebrate with You after repenting of my sin, as You speak to seal the Word of the Father to my heart.
Let my works, in conjunction with the true repentance of my heart, bring You joy, so that I might be confident enough to say to my Savior, “Look, Lord…”
May it be done to us as You have said.