There was a wealthy man who heard Jesus was passing by that day. He ran to the road to get a glimpse--but because he was short he couldn’t see over the crowd. So he made the effort and climbed a tree. Understand, this was a man of status--a public official serving the Romans by collecting taxes. Such men didn’t shame themselves by running or climbing trees. Getting rich by over-taxing people, he was feared and hated. He never dreamed Jesus would stop and speak to him--let alone invite himself to visit.
The Lord came to where Zacchaeus was in his sin, and called him by name. The crowd disapproved of Jesus honoring a dirty, sinful man. But that didn’t sway Jesus in the least. To the Christ, all are worthy of a second chance. In Luke 19:1-10, we learn something important about Jesus. He will cross any boundary, challenge any religious “rule,” and accept any criticism to save his lost sheep.
Zacchaeus didn’t deserve Jesus’ attention. But a rabbi of renown paid him honor -and Zacchaeus welcomed him gladly. Zacchaeus was so moved--he stood up and said, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." (Luke. 19:8-10 NIVO)
So great is Jesus’ concern for you that he will do anything under God’s law to reach you--even die on the cross for your sin. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John. 3:17) Jesus calls all sinners--those who are lost and even those who are redeemed. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. All that matters is what you do next.