As a kid, one of the first church songs I remember is, “Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he…” As an adult, I realize the story involves much more than a short guy who climbed a tree to see Jesus.
The end of this account in Luke 19 reads:
7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
The people were not surprised at Zach in a tree; they were surprised Jesus would hang out with a “sinner” like him. But it took Jesus showing up at Zach’s home to discover why Jesus was there, “to seek and save the lost.” Jesus was not showing up for a free meal; He was there to offer freedom.
The result was a changed heart and changed actions. Zacchaeus gave half of his possessions to the poor and made restitution to those he had cheated. The actions were not his salvation, but his salvation led to actions that helped others.
Zacchaeus may have been a wee little man, but faith changed everything. He is now known in the Bible as a person who sought Jesus, chose to follow Him, and lived a life that reflected this transformation.
May our lives show this same attitude today.
Dillon Burroughs is the author or co-author of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of the New Testament in 2011 at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.