In Luke 19:1-10 we read that Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. In Jericho, there was a man named Zacchaeus, who was the chief among the publicans [tax collectors], and who had become rich; in part by overtaxing the people. As Jesus passed through the streets, there were many that had gathered around him. Zacchaeus, out of curiosity, also wanted to see this man called Jesus. However, because he was “short in stature” he could not see Jesus. Therefore, he climbed up a tree so that he could see Jesus as he passed by.
Then, the unexpected happened. Jesus came to the tree where Zacchaeus was, and Jesus told him to get down for He must visit his home that day. Zacchaeus was overjoyed that Jesus, a man whom the crowd had made such a stir over, had chosen to visit his home. However, the crowd was not happy, for they said, “He was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.” [cf. Luke 19:7].
In Luke 19:8 we find that Zacchaeus received more than just a man called Jesus into his home. Zacchaeus repented of his sins and received the Lord Jesus as his personal Saviour. Jesus acknowledged this fact in Luke 19:9,
“And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.”
Zacchaeus now had a new treasure in his life – eternal life!!
Though the crowd murmured that Jesus went to a “sinner’s” home, Jesus stated in Luke 19:10,
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost.”
The problem today, as it was then, is that many do not know that they need to be “saved” – for, they do not understand that they are “sin sick” (meaning, by nature spiritually dead – condemned to a devil’s hell). On another occasion Jesus was similarly rebuked for entering a publican’s house, yet, notice His response.
“And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
In 1 Timothy 1:15 the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy,
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”
Pride, arrogance, self-righteousness, material possessions such as money, houses, stocks, etc, can often blind one from seeing Jesus for whom He truly is – God’s only begotten Son, the Saviour of the world, the only One through whom one can enter in to Heaven.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
But let us understand here that as Jesus went directly to Zacchaeus, He will also come directly to you. He will speak directly to your heart through His Word and through the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
Revelation 3:20 states,
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
Romans 10:9 states,
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Jesus still seeks to save sinners today. The question must now be asked, “Have you [a sinner whom Jesus is seeking to save] repented of your sins and asked the Lord Jesus to save you?”