So now coming on the scene is not just a publican but the chief publican! Think of the mafia which always has a head man!
In fact, Jesus picked one Levi, or Matthew as one of His twelve apostles! As J R Miller says "The luxurious and worldly comforts which money brings, are a paltry compensation for the hatred and contempt of one's neighbors, and a lack of respect in one's community The exposure of getting rich dishonestly, has left many names disgraced in our own days. Henry Morris - Zacchaeus was very rich and powerful, and not many such as these are ever saved Luke ; 1 Corinthians Yet this man showed his humility and his desire to know Christ Luke , and the Lord saw a repentant, believing heart and recognized him, desiring to "sup with him" Revelation Defender's Study Bible.
Oh, yes! All his riches could not purchase the priceless gift of eternal life! This gift must be received into a humble, believing heart. And when they asked Jesus who then could be saved, He replied "The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.
While riches were the young ruler's idol, riches did not impede Zaccheus from coming to Jesus and holding nothing back. Jesus knew Zaccheus' heart and his unsolicited response to give to the poor and to make restitution to those he had defrauded, was clear evidence of the desire of his heart! Jesus also did not tell Zaccheus to quit his job as a tax collector. Why not? For one thing as noted it was not a crime to be a tax collector but it was a crime to be a tax collector who robbed the people.
Surely Zaccheus changed heart would result in changed practices regarding tax collecting. And what effect might this have on those Jews who witnessed his changed behavior?
Surely they would want to know why and it would ultimately be an opportunity for him to tell them about what Jesus had done in his heart. Not only that, but since he was the chief collector, this means he had many other collectors under him and almost certainly he would demand that they drop their dishonest practices. While, this is somewhat speculative because Scripture does not say definitively, it is a very reasonable scenario. One wonders if we will see any of Zaccheus' "employees" or "clients" in heaven as a result of his changed life? We will have to wait and see!
How about your changed heart and transformed life? Has it had a "ripple effect" on those you are in daily contact? It should! As an aside, do you notice the rank hypocrisy? Church synagogues back then is supposed to be the very place unclean come so that they might be made clean by the Gospel! But being a short man he could not because of the crowd. Zaccheus had the problem of being too short to see Jesus. He was a short, rich man who was the most hated man in town.
Not this year.
Not any year. They hate this man. Do you suppose that Zaccheus had heard that Jesus had called one of his colleagues into his ministry? He wanted to see who Jesus was.
He wanted to figure out what it was that made Jesus different from everyone else. He was drawn to this man who had just given sight to the blind beggar on the outskirts of Jericho. Now this healer was walking through his town. He may not have fully understood what was going on in his heart, but Zack had a desperate need to get to Jesus.
It is the starting of a new life. The interest of all heaven centers upon a man in this world who begins to pray, to look for God for mercy, to long to become a Christian. There were difficulties in the way of Zacchaeus. There always are difficulties in the way of a man who wants to find God cf Lk note , 1 Th , 16, note. The crowd was in the way of Zacchaeus; the crowd is always in the way of those who want to get to Christ. Zacchaeus was little, too little to see over the heads of the people; we are all in some sense too little of ourselves to see Christ.
People hide Him from our eyes. We must expect that there will be obstacles in the way of our desire to find Him. J R Miller. Trying Seeking zeteo implies giving attention and priority to and deliberately pursuing after. The most common sense of this word means to go in search or quest of, to look for, to try to discover, to search for by going from place to place including sycamore trees! Or picture Zaccheus again and again trying to stand on his tip toes to see Jesus, but all to no avail.
This was the opportunity for those in the crowd who had been defrauded and extorted by this little man to put him in his place, so to speak! Small is the Greek adjective mikros English "micro". As we might say today he was "vertically challenged!
God has a standard and every human born other than Jesus fails to measure up to that standard! As Wiersbe says "We are all "too little" to enter into heaven! The tragedy is, many lost sinners think they are "big. They think they have everything when really they have nothing Rev.
Zaccheus trusted Jesus Christ and became a true "son of Abraham," meaning, of course, a child of faith Rom. That is as big as you can get! He came up far short in a spiritual sense of ever entering into a relationship with God. He was short on integrity and tall on sin.
Stature is used of Jesus in Lk note describing His growth as a child but could also include His growth in maturity. Helika is found in the Septuagint only in Ezekiel and Job The papyri contain the word in the first two meanings only Moulton-Milligan. But as we shall see, his zeal gives way to ingenuity.
He was not to be deterred! As a child, I loved to climb trees. The higher I climbed, the more I could see. Occasionally, in search of a better view, I might inch out along a branch until I felt it bend under my weight.
Not surprisingly, my tree-climbing days are over. Zacchaeus, a wealthy man, set aside his dignity and perhaps ignored his safety when he climbed a tree one day in Jericho. Jesus was traveling through the city, and Zacchaeus wanted to get a look at Him.
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Fortunately, those things did not stop him from seeing and even talking with Christ. And when he met Jesus, his life was changed forever. We too can be prevented from seeing Jesus. Pride can blind us from seeing Him as the Wonderful Counselor. Anxiety keeps us from knowing Him as the Prince of Peace Isa.