In verse 10, Jesus clearly tells us why he came to earth and what his purpose is. He came to seek out people like Zacchaeus and save them. He came to change lives and not just tweak them a little bit. He came to transform lives in a big and meaningful way.
We don’t know what the conversation is like within the walls of Zacchaeus’s house that day, but the immediate change it makes within the host is dramatic. Does Zacchaeus have a family? If he does, what do they think about the stranger that he spontaneously brings home? Do they wish they’d had more time to put away the laundry, pick up the toys, and prepare a meal? How do they feel about the drastic reduction in their family’s income? Did they have plans for the money Zacchaeus will use to pay back those he has cheated? What do they think when half of their possessions are given to the poor? Do they experience the kind of transformation that Zacchaeus does? Does Zacchaeus become a better husband and father?
Did Zacchaeus lose his job because he encounters Jesus? Did the lives of his employees change as well? Were they getting kickbacks too? Did they keep their jobs?
I admire Zacchaeus because when he sees himself through Jesus’ eyes, he recognizes and owns his sin. He doesn’t deny what he did, give excuses for his behavior, or blame someone else for his mistakes. We don’t hear a typical apology from him. Instead, he outlines a plan to make amends, reflecting contrition and true change in his attitude and behavior.
What changes have you made in your life as a result of an encounter with God? What changes do you still need to make?
Thank you, God, for being in the transformation business. Keep working on me, changing me into the person you want me to be. Amen.