Zacchaeus encounter with Jesus

Zacchaeus encounter with Jesus

Luke 19:5

“When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down because today I must stay at your house.”


                If you grew up in the church as a kid then you probably all know the song about Zacchaeus. How he was a very short man, he climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus, and as noted in the verse above, Jesus calls out to him and says that he is going to Zacchaeus house. Other notable information that we get from Luke is the fact that Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector, which pretty much meant that he was in charge of other tax collectors and worked for the Roman government. But the interesting thing is that Zacchaeus himself was a Jew, which made working for the Roman’s look like you were a traitor to your own people. So to sum up the point Zacchaeus would have been looked at as a low life in his day in time and people defiantly didn’t like him.

                But what I want us to look at is how Jesus interacts with him. In Luke we see that Jesus simply says that he needs somewhere to stay and he would like to stay with Zacchaeus. Undoubtedly this made people mad because they thought of Zacchaeus as a big sinner. Then we see when that Zacchaeus confesses to the Lord that he will give half of what he owns away and if he has taken money unfairly by over taxing people he will give back four times as much. What a turn of events. Zacchaeus who is considered a big sinner all of a sudden confesses his sins to Jesus and in turn is forgiven of his sins. But what did Jesus really do?

                Notice that it didn’t say that Jesus preformed a miracle and Zacchaeus was convicted of his sins, (although forgiving someone of their sins is a very big miracle.) Jesus didn’t use a parable to explain to Zacchaeus his sin and his need to repent. No, Jesus just simply invited himself over to Zacchaeus’ home and showed him love. This may sound really simple and we have to believe that the Holy Spirit was doing a lot of behind the scenes work with Zacchaeus, but still, for someone to be brought close to God because they were simply shown attention that they didn’t deserve is a bit wild.

                What do you think would happen in our lives if we simply took the ordinary things that we do during the day and included, or showed people attention and love, that don’t normally get recognized in the name of Jesus? What if when you go to lunch one day, you invite along someone from the office that no one ever really talks to just to get to know them better? What if you simply stopped in to check on the widow that lives a few doors down from you to see if there is anything you can do for them? What if made sure that kid that gets left out of everything gets a special invitation to our kid’s birthday party? What I am trying to get at is Jesus took a seemingly simple thing, staying at someone’s house for a night, and because it was someone who usually got overlook, or looked down upon, it turned their world upside down. We have the ability to totally change someone’s world too if we are just willing to step out of our comfort zone just a little bit. It doesn’t have to be flashy things that you do for people. Just simply talk to them, invite them out to eat, or over to your home to eat. Hopefully through your hospitality and kindness that person’s heart will start to see Jesus at work in your life. There is no telling what you could do if we just reached out to people in ordinary, loving ways.
– Pastor Tyler Mooring