Greedy Zacchaeus Turns to Giving


What would you do if Jesus wanted to come to your house today?


Are we ready to receive Jesus?


Let’s look at Luke 19:1-10 and see one man’s reaction when Jesus said he was coming today.
Luke 19:1-10 Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. 3 He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.
5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” 6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 7 But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.
8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” 9 Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
...and that’s the Gospel of our Lord, thanks be to God!

Wealth (vs 1-4)

Zacchaeus had become “very rich” as chief tax collector or custom house boss. Dirty money gave Zacchaeus lowly status. Jesus had remarked how impossible it was for a wealthy person to enter the kingdom (Luke 18:24-25). Zacchaeus was eager to see Jesus and did not allow short stature to prevent him. Despite the obvious embarrassment, he climbed a tree.

Today (vs 5-6)

Zacchaeus’ persistence was rewarded. Jesus told him to come down because he wanted to be a guest in his home today. Zacchaeus was immediately obedient and filled with joy. Jesus had kingdom plans that included this “notorious sinner.” Zacchaeus is genuinely receptive and ready to embrace the values of the kingdom of God. The bigger the sinner the more thankful.

Salvation (vs 7-10)

While Zacchaeus was happy, the crowd grumbled, because of his collaboration with Roman occupation. They could not see what Jesus saw. Perhaps even Jesus disciples grumbled. Zacchaeus responds to Jesus with appropriate giving to the poor and penance. All of these are appropriate outward signs of inner repentance. Jesus defined Zacchaeus’ behavior as that of a true child of Abraham.

A Name (vs 9)

Zacchaeus’ name means the righteous one. Our names may not mean what we are today, but a name can be a prophecy of our lives as Jesus can make them. All our righteousness comes from God. Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus, but Jesus had already seen him. A rich man entered the kingdom of God. Jesus makes the impossible possible.

Seeking (vs 10)

Zacchaeus repented of his greed and began giving. Do we grumble about Jesus’ grace? Do we want forgiveness or punishment of those who have wronged us? Is Zacchaeus welcome in our churches? Salvation came to Zacchaeus. Jesus came to call the lost. Do we shut the lost out of the church? A rescue came to Zacchaeus, from greed to giving.


Salvation has come to you and me. Jesus wants to be a guest in our homes today. Is he welcome?