I love the scriptures about Zaccheus! I still have the song we used to sing about him, floating around in my head. I hear his name and the words come back to me like yesterday.
He entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. Luke 19:1-2
Tax collectors were not well liked in those days. Our friend Zaccheus had quite a past and a reputation.
Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable to because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. Luke 19:3-4
Zaccheus seems to be curious about who Jesus is. I wonder what it was that brought him to that place of curiousity. It was strong enough for him to climb a tree so he could see Jesus.
When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. Luke 19:5-6
I love this! Jesus looks up at Zaccheus and calls him down. He saw Zaccheus. He knew he was seeking Him. He calls him towards Him.
When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” Luke 19:7
Here it comes. People start gossiping and criticizing Jesus for being a guest of a sinner. We are all sinners.
I want to clarify here because I can see how this statement can fuel both those who lean more towards the legalistic end but also those who lean towards the mindset that loving people means accepting everything. We are all sinners and we have to pray for discernment which relationships we should be in and which ones the Holy Spirit is leading us to. That is very important.
Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” Luke 19:8
Being in the presence of Jesus brought conviction to Zaccheus. Jesus opened Zaccheus’ eyes to the truth about the way he had been living. That conviction, led to a repentant heart. Repentance causes us to turn away from the sin we have been living in. You see this here with Zaccheus.
And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:9-10
He called Zaccheus to come just as he was, the way he was. His interaction with Jesus changed him. It caused his heart to see his sin, be convicted, and to repent. That repentance leads to a changed heart and a changed life. I imagine those who knew Zaccheus before would see something different from then on and they would want to know how his life was changed.
I find that it is the same even after I accepted Christ. There have been seasons where I have gotten caught up in ways that took my attention off Jesus. There have been moments where I am a mess emotionally. There have been other times where I have been plain angry and at God and frustrated with life.
I hear Him call me to himself. When I go towards Him, sit in His presence, I am changed. Conviction and repentance comes. Healing comes. Peace comes.
There is a song I love called, “Come As You Are” by Crowder. I am going to put the link here and I would encourage you to listen to those words. I pray you hear Him calling you. Draw close to Him in His presence and let Him change you today.