“Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich.” (Luke 19:1 – 2).
Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector. Although his name meant pure or fair, there was a discrepancy between the meaning of his name and the life he was living. He didn’t live an exemplary life, but His curiosity and hunger for the truth led him to have an encounter with Jesus.
“And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature.” (Luke 19:3).
Zacchaeus heard about the Lord Jesus and wanted to know more. He didn’t allow his physical limitation to impede him from taking action and this attitude led him and his family to attain salvation. Jesus said to Him: “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.”” (Luke 19:5).
We can learn a lot from Zacchaeus. His story teaches us that our past will not define us as we decide to sacrifice and abandon what is wrong. God doesn’t look at our “piles of wrongdoings” but looks at what we decide to do NOW! For this reason, we cannot let the devil use our past as an obstacle. That’s why caution is required when we are seeking God because satan will strive to ensure that he bombards us with accusations.
When we approach God wholeheartedly and acknowledge our true nature, He makes us new just like Zacchaeus, consequently leading us to become children of Abraham. Through his actions, Zacchaeus showed God how much he wanted salvation. Likewise, when we show God how much we thirst for Him through our attitudes, He comes and rewards us with the greatest honour, which is the Holy Spirit.
From a human perspective, Zacchaeus was at bottom of the list; he was undeserving of God’s mercy. Think about it… he was a liar and a deceiver. But he jumped the queue because of his faith and the Word of God was fulfilled in his life: The last became the first (See Matthew 20:16).
Unfortunately, there are many whose title as Christians doesn’t coincide with their lifestyle, hence the reason why they have no assurance of their salvation and don’t see their lives moving forward.
If we want to see God working in our lives, we must be ready to “climb the tree” and assume our faith just like Zacchaeus. Many are those who do things that go against their name as Christians. They often forget that God knows each one of us, just like he knew Zacchaeus. We can’t hide from God or delete our history of wrong activities. He sees everything! However, God doesn’t want to condemn us; He wants to save us, but the truth is, that many will come but few will remain.
For this reason, He is urging us to follow in Zacchaeus footsteps. That is, if we’ve been living a double life and rejecting the cup of salvation, then we must decide to humble ourselves and honour God with our lives. Many haven’t received the Holy Spirit because they have not followed Zacchaeus example. They are still holding on to something; worried about people’s opinion, filled with pride, living in sin and attached to worldly things and possessions.
What are you willing to do to have a true encounter with Jesus? Zacchaeus said, “I give half of my possessions” (See Luke 19: 8). Are you willing to give your life to Him?
If today you miss out on drinking from the cup of salvation, you don’t know if you will ever have another opportunity.