If you read Luke’s Gospel closely, you’ll see a number of themes rise to the surface. Three of his regular themes are found in this story: the problem of riches and what to do with them, Jesus associating with “sinners,” and the discovery of new life which comes in faith and recognizing Jesus as Lord.
There is one thing I want to connect with Zacchaeus on. He was willing to risk embarrassment and public humiliation just to catch a glimpse of Jesus. He’s heard the stories. He has a pain in his chest that comes with the guilt from cheating your own people. When you carry that kind of burden around, you want some sort of relief. His desire to meet Jesus is something that I want to experience in my life. He was willing to risk making himself look like a fool to just catch a glimpse of Jesus.
Now, we have the issue of finances. The position of Zacchaeus isn’t one that makes him popular. We’re not enthused about tax collectors in our day but back then he made his money based off what he skimps off of the people, and the collectors that work below him. When he gets the upgrades on his house, his wardrobe, etc. the people around him know who paid for it. They did. He stole their money. Not only that, he has the government backing him to do so.
The promise Zacchaeus makes to Jesus will greatly reduce his circumstances. He could even be poor when he repays his debts. But, he doesn’t care. What he found in Jesus Christ is far more valuable! Jesus then offers salvation to his house. “Where Jesus is, there salvation is to be found, for those who accept him as master and reorder their lives accordingly.” - N.T. Wright, Advent for Everyone.
What is the hardest part of your life to reorder to be in the presence of Christ? What are some ways you can bring restoration to areas of your life where you were wrong? What does all of this tell us about the peace that we should have in the coming of Christ?