There is a story in the gospel of Luke of a little man who became big in a day. His name was Zaccheus. He was in the tax collecting business on behalf of the Roman government and was very rich because of it. He had his money but at a high cost. Tax collectors were despised and considered “sinners” by Jews and not worthy of association.
Then along came Jesus. He was walking through Jericho and Zaccheus was exactly the sort of man he was interested in. Jesus singled him out of the tree he had climbed into to see better since he was short. “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house” (Luke 19:5). This would be like the President hopping off his campaign bus and calling out to a homeless drunk; “I’d like to spend the afternoon with you.”
What did Jesus see that no one else did? It had to be what was on the inside: the heart. And Jesus was right about that heart because the minute he came out of the tree Zaccheus welcomed Jesus into his home and repented publicly for his sins. As if that wasn’t enough he promised a four fold return to anyone he had defrauded.
Little man Zaccheus became a big man that day. He was totally transformed by the Lord’s acceptance and love. Jesus said; “Today salvation has come to this house” (Verse 9). There are two lessons from this story for us today. First, let’s stop judging other people from outside information. It’s only God who knows the heart.
Secondly, if you identify with Zaccheus, Jesus is again passing by. No matter how you have been living up until now, put yourself in the path of the Master. Then he will look at you and say to come down. Is your heart ready? Today salvation can also come to your house. (If you need a little more help with how to meet Jesus, click here.)