SEEKING to SAVE those who are LOST: "Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:9-10)
In the above passage Jesus announced that salvation had come to the house of Zacchaeus, because he was a son of Abraham. Salvation did not come just because Zacchaeus was a Jew by birth but because he exercised the same kind of faith in God as Abraham. Later on, Apostle Paul uses “son of Abraham” to refer to those who share the faith of Abraham. Previously, he may have been a physical son of Abraham, but by his repentance he has become a spiritual son, and his entire household shared in Abraham’s blessings.
Zacchaeus may have been a higher-ranking “publican” rather than an ordinary tax collector. Either way, he would have been despised by the citizens of Jericho. This account describes how a sinner becomes a son. Zacchaeus behaved as one with a heart touched by God. His faith was demonstrated in his repentance and his restitution of funds according to the Law, which demanded repayment plus 20 percent (Lev. 6:5; Num. 5:7). Let us understand that righteous obedience is an evidence of saving faith!
Zacchaeus is a good example of a man whose riches did not prevent him from coming to Christ. But like so many today, what he needed was someone to explain the way of salvation to him. Jesus came to him, sought him, and saved him. Though He was surrounded by a great crowd of people, Jesus took time for individuals, and He even saw a man up on a tree!
We can learn four things from this passage of Jesus’ encounter with Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10:
- We should see the need of God’s love in everyone we encounter during our life journey.
- We should never discount the ministry to individuals, as they may be instrumental in attracting many more to Christ (e.g. Zacchaeus in Luke 19 or the Samaritan Woman in John 4)
- We should seek to find lost people in our area of influence, try to know them personally and share the gospel with them.
- We should move further in these relationships and make them our friends, like Jesus did with Zacchaeus (v. 5)