“Today salvation has come to this house, because this man too is a son of Abraham; for the Son of man has come to seek out and save what was lost.”
Zacchaeus was a short, wealthy, dishonest senior tax collector of Jericho who changed his economics because of his encounter with Jesus.
His journey of change began when out of curiosity he desired to see Jesus passing along. To do this, Zacchaeus forgot his status as rich, senior tax collector and climbed a tree like many ordinary folk. Imagine his shock when Jesus not only stopped and called him by name, but invited himself to have a meal at his house! Moved by Jesus’ generosity to a sinner like himself, Zacchaeus immediately decided to give half his property to the poor and pay back four times the amount owed to those whom he had cheated. Jesus applauded his action.
Where do we stand when someone we know to be a sinner makes a round-about turn? Are we willing to take a chance and change? Are we like the Jews critical of Jesus’ welcoming actions? Or like Jesus, celebrating Zacchaeus’ transformation and hailing this hated tax collector, as “a son of Abraham”? Ironically, many times we behave like Zacchaeus, the Jews, Jesus!