A Community of Grace · Clinton, SC

Redemption and Transformation

Luke 19:1-10

The account of Zacchaeus and Jesus reminds us that Jesus did indeed come to seek and save the lost. When we meet Zacchaeus he is far from living up to his name, which means “Righteous One.” In reality, Zacchaeus was morally deficient (he loved money while using people); he was spiritually disadvantaged (by his riches – for it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle that for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God); he was socially despised (by even the “regular” Jew in the crowd); and he was vertically challenged (which is why he had to climb up a tree to see Jesus). Although Zacchaeus may have been dissatisfied with his life and was hoping to get some relief of some sort from Jesus, it is just as likely he was only curious, after all he was going to let Jesus pass without saying a word. But as Jesus draws near, He takes the initiative in reaching out to Zacchaeus. He calls Zacchaeus my name, commands him to come down and states that he MUST (a divine “must”) stay at his house. This was because Jesus had plans (made in eternity past) to call Zacchaeus to himself. While the idea of Jesus coming to his house filled Zacchaeus with joy, the crowd did not react the same. They believed Zacchaeus was unworthy of being in the presence of Jesus – and they very well may not have even wanted Zacchaeus to have an opportunity to be saved. They thought themselves to be more righteous and more deserving – just like we often feel today! Jesus, of course, goes anyway – and Zacchaeus comes to faith in Christ. We know this first because of his transformation (he now uses money and loves people), and by Jesus’ declaration that salvation has come to this house as Zacchaeus became a child of Abraham (a spiritual child by faith). This account reminds us 1) to listen for Christ call upon our hearts and lives; 2) to give praise to God for his work of doing all that is needed that we might be saved and, 3) to repent and keep repenting that we might be transformed and live as new creations.