Zaccheus was rich. He took a cut of the taxes he collected on behalf of Rome. As a chief tax collector, he was atop the pyramid. Local Jericho residents despised this little fellow. When Jesus passed through town, Zaccheus scrambled up a sycamore tree to see Him. Jesus invited Himself to dinner. Many grumbled. No self-respecting religious leader would associate with a tax collector. Zaccheus was a sinner. He was full of fraud and deceit. Religiously and spiritually he was a lost man. Heaven was not his destination.
At this point Jesus uttered astounding words. “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Jesus Christ is the divine and heavenly Son of Man (Daniel 7:13). He entered the world via virgin birth. His life had a goal. It was the cross. As the divine Son of Man, Jesus Christ died on that cross on behalf of sinners. “He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:3).
Zaccheus had a change of heart. He confessed Jesus as 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). Jesus had one response. “Today salvation has come to this house” (Luke 19:9).
Contributed by Dr. Dennis J. Prutow