“Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house...For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’” (Luke 19:9-10)
For many of us, the story of Zacchaeus probably brings to mind fuzzy felt pictures of a funny little man up a tree. It’s just a children’s story, isn’t it?
And yet, when I spoke about Zacchaeus at some recent school assemblies as part of a series on “people Jesus met”, it struck me that this is actually a magnificent illustration of the redemptive power of Christ.
Here was a despised man – a hated tax collector, a thief, a cheat, a Roman collaborator.
Here was a man whose immense wealth can only have been matched by his loneliness and misery.
In one magical moment, Jesus singles him out and approaches him; and through this one encounter, Zacchaeus’ life is utterly transformed. Those he has cheated, he repays fourfold.
He gives half his goods to the poor. It’s hard to imagine how completely his life must have changed.
When people truly meet Jesus, one of the things that happens is that their lives are transformed. He brings forgiveness for the past and renewal for the future. He brings a new beginning, with new hope and a new life. And that’s a message we all need to hear.
Rev. Andrew Randall, Larbert Old Church