Luke 9:1-10 (NLT)
1Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. 3He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.
5When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
6Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 7But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.
8Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
9Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
I love the story of Zacchaeus. I love the lessons in it: the truth that if you want God to change your life, He can, and will. Zacchaeus knew what he was. He knew what people thought about him. But he wanted Jesus. He wanted to change. So how does he teach us to do that?
Lesson 1: Want to see Jesus, no matter what it takes. (v. 3)
Lesson 2: Put your pride aside. It would have to be a humbling experience to be so small that you have to climb a tree to see. (v. 4)
Lesson 3: Accept His invitation and answer His call. Jesus calls to us all, but few answer. Be willing to accept and answer. (v. 5)
Lesson 4: Meet Him with excitement and joy. This is your Savior! Be excited about Him, be excited about salvation! (v. 6)
Lesson 5: Let Him find you and change you. He can. (v. 8, 10)
So, there you have it, five simple lessons from Zacchaeus. They worked for him, I’m sure they can work for us too. Zacchaeus was lost, until he found Jesus, who had been looking for him all along.
The author is a youth worker from Hartwell, Georgia.
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