Zacchaeus was a wee little man. Bless his heart.
I’m afraid the age old Sunday School song has given us the wrong impression of this guy. He sounds so endearing as the vertically challenged Israelite who climbed a tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus.
But this was NOT a nice guy.
Zacchaeus would have been known as an embezzler, a traitor and a notorious cheat. He was the first century equivalent of a Colombian drug lord, getting rich off of other people’s pain and living in the lap of luxury.
It shocked everyone around when Jesus stopped to talk to him. Didn’t he know who this guy was?
Not only did Jesus know who he was, he called Zacchaeus by name. He invited himself over to Zacchaeus’ house, which produced even more shock and awe.
The religious people of the day took painstaking efforts to distance themselves from unsavory sinners like Zacchaeus. But here we see Jesus moving in, getting close, and disregarding his good reputation to become a friend of sinners.
This is Jesus. He is not your accuser or your prosecutor. He is your rescuer and friend.
Affirmation: I will embrace fully that Jesus is a friend of sinners
Comment: We want to hear from you. Tell us how you know Jesus as a friend of sinners.
Luke 19:1-10 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus,come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “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.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”