“And Zacchaeus stood and said unto the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor—and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.’ And Jesus said unto him, ‘This day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham—for the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost’.”
If the tree’s healthy, it’ll bear fruit.
There’s no doubt Zacchaeus was a crooked man. Though short in stature, he was long on sin. Considered a traitor by his fellow Jews for collecting taxes for the despised Romans, the underhanded Jericho resident didn’t care what folks thought.
Money has a way of doing that to a person.
Not only does it insulate one from the struggles of those around you, it also hardens the heart, calcifies the conscience and leads you down the primrose path to destruction.
If you let it.
Some called him a “typical politician.”
And, according to Luke’s Gospel they were right—for his declarations in today’s Manna is one of his “fruits of repentance” (Mt. 3:8) and reveals his large mansion and lavish lifestyle were likely the result of ill-gotten gain.
But, thankfully, our all-seeing Savior looked beyond Zacchaeus’ faults that day and saw his need. Even as He still does today.
He knew where Zacchaeus was (v.5a). He knew who he was (v.5b). And, He knew what he needed—a house call by the Great Physician (v.5c, 9-10).
What’s interesting is that the cheering throng’s shouts of “Hosanna” quickly turned to jeers and words of criticism as Jesus walked up the gated driveway to Zacchaeus’ house that day (v.7).
“I can’t believe He’s going to that scoundrel’s house,” one murmured.
“Yea, I guess He must be just like him,” scowled another as he turned to go home.
Oh, the fickleness of flesh!
But, thankfully the Son of Man didn’t listen to them. And, thankfully He doesn’t easily give up on us today (Lam. 3:21-23).
Thankfully, He’s still in the business of “seeking and saving that which was lost.”
He was a “Man on a Mission” then. And, He still is today.
Looking for those who are “lost”. . .those who’ve lost their way Home. . .those who’ve “wasted their substance in riotous living” (Lk. 15:13). . .those who’ve played the fool and ended up in a prison of their own making.
How thankful we should be for that day when Jesus passed by our heart’s house. The question is, “Will we be like Zacchaeus and love Him with an extravagant—yea, a ‘crazy’ love that holds nothing back?” Truly, in Christ “the proof of the pudding’s in the eating,” which simply means it’s our “walk,” not our “talk,” that matters to God.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated July 21, 2010