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Lessons from Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10)

Mr. Reuben Ashok

Zacchaeus was a short man and a chief tax collector who worked for the Roman kingdom. Tax collectors of the time were enemies of Jews and well known for their dishonesty.

The passage indicates that Zacchaeus was very curious to know about Jesus. He did not go along with the crowd to see Jesus. He strategized and climbed up the Sycamore tree to see Jesus. He did not worry about his identity or status or what people would think of him, rather he was excited to see who this Jesus was and what He was doing.

Are there obstacles that deny us from knowing God? Are our identities in the world holding us up? Are we willing to let go off the things that hinder us from knowing Jesus?

Secondly, Jesus calls Zacchaeus personally by name. This was probably the first time Jesus calls him. However, Jesus knew all facts of Zacchaeus and noticed him who was unnoticeable otherwise.

Jesus, all through his life here on earth went to the people who were ignored and rejected by society. He also sends people into our lives to notice things and bring changes. Similar to Jesus, we as children of God are called to notice the unnoticeable. God gives us opportunities and prompts us in multiple ways. We need to heed Him, be ready to accept people and walk the extra mile as Jesus did.

Thirdly, as soon as Zacchaeus comes down from the tree, he declared “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.” Unlike the rich young ruler who became sad and left Jesus when Jesus asked to sell his possessions, Zacchaeus readily gave up the things that were a ‘safety net’ to him until then. Are we ready to give up our treasures and ‘safety nets’ for Jesus?

The people around Zacchaeus who were watching might have thought he is crazy or wondered his change in character. Whatever it is, he did not worry about anything. His actions reflected the inner change in him. As children of God, we should be living testimonies. Our everyday work and activities should reflect Jesus.

Finally, v 10 says “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” We live in a community of varied people with diversity – lifestyles, education, talents etc., etc., Are we avoiding people who are not similar to us or are we seeking to save the lost in our communities?

Let us thrive to have the same passion of Jesus and play the God given role in our communities.


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