Lessons From Zacchaeus

If you grew up in church, you know and sang about Zacchaeus. In Luke 19, Jesus was entering Jericho. The crowds had gathered around Him as He was walking through town. They wanted to see a miracle, hear a sermon and to see what important religious person He would visit with. Some even thought He was going to start a revolution with Rome that very moment. The crowd was so big, and Zacchaeus was not very tall. He saw where Jesus was headed and ran up ahead in front of the crowd. He found a sycamore tree to climb in so that he could just see Jesus. When Jesus arrived to that spot, He looked up and saw Zacchaeus , He told him to come down so He could stay at his house. The people were mad because Zacchaeus wasn’t a religious person at all. In fact he was despised by people because he worked for Rome and stole money from his own people as the chief tax collector. When he saw Jesus, and Jesus saw him, everything changed including his heart.

Two things stand out to me in this familiar story. The first is that Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus and was willing to do anything to see Him. How hungry and determined are you to see Jesus? Like so many before him, he wanted to get a glimpse of God. Moses was that way too. In Exodus 33:18-19 Moses said, “‘Please, show me your glory!’And God said, ‘I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the Name of the Lord before you; for I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion (lovingkindness) on whom I will show compassion’” (AMP) When we are determined to see God, He will show up with His glory and presence. He wants to be found, and will reveal Himself to those who seek Him.

The second thing I noticed in this story is that Zacchaeus was proactive and anticipated where Jesus was headed. Many of us try to go where He has been, but Zacchaeus ran ahead and waited on the Lord. In Matthew 5:8 Jesus said, “Blessed [anticipating God’s presence, spiritually mature] are the pure in heart [those with integrity, moral courage, and godly character], for they will see God.” When we anticipate God’s presence, we will see Him and He will see us. What is God wanting to do around you today? Where is He headed? Go and start being the hands and feet of Him there. Remember the laborers are few. There’s a lot God wants to do, but He needs us to know His heart, anticipate where He wants to reveal Himself and start there. When you start loving people there, God will show up and you will see Him.

Photo by OMAR FARUK on Unsplash


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4 responses to “Lessons From Zacchaeus

  1. Great post brother! Zacchaeus and Matthew, now there was a real pair hated by the people, but loved by God. And how He used them?

    • I love that Jesus saw both of them and valued them when others didn’t. I wonder how the people felt about that visit after Zacchaeus returned money to them. Did that change their minds or were their hearts still hardened?

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