The Story of Zacchaeus in the Bible tells how the life of this man was transformed by the encounter he had with Jesus, going from being a sinful man to one restored by the power of the Savior.
This story evidences the Lord’s mercy on sinners, whom He did not reject, and in this case, this tax collector did not miss this opportunity to meet Jesus so he climbed a tree and received a visit at his home from Messiah.
who was Zacchaeus
Zacchaeus was a Jewish man by birth, his job was to be head of the tax collectors, who had headquarters in the Oasis of Jericho whose orchards and palm groves produced good fruit, which was subject to the jurisdiction and surveillance of the treasury.
Because of his profession, this man was hated by his compatriots, since he was known for being unfair and doing illicit business. Given this Zacchaeus, knowing the testimony of what was lived when Jesus arrived, and all the miracles that happened, he arranged his time to meet him, and change his lifestyle.
The Story of Zacchaeus in the Bible
The Bible in the Gospel of Luke tells the story of this man who had an encounter with the Lord, and this story says the following:
“When Jesus entered Jericho, he was passing through the city. And it happened that a man named Zacchaeus, who was chief of the publicans, and rich, tried to see who Jesus was; but he could not because of the crowd, for he was small in stature.
And running ahead, he climbed a sycamore tree to see him; because she had to go through there. When Jesus arrived at that place, looking up, he saw him, and said to him: Zacchaeus, hurry up, come down, because today it is necessary for me to stay in your house.
So he hurried down, and received him joyfully. Seeing this, everyone murmured, saying that he had entered to pose with a sinful man. Then Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord: Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I give to the poor;
and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will return it quadrupled. Jesus said to him: Today salvation has come to this house; because he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:1-10).
This man had a longing in his heart to want to completely change his life, and he made a great effort to be able to see Jesus, and before that encounter Jesus saw him and asked to stay at his house at night, to which the excited man agreed. , and his life changed.
With this encounter, Zacchaeus could see that through Jesus he would receive the forgiveness of his sins since he was a rich man, and he knew that what he had he had received in a fraudulent way, for which he was sorry for it, and wanted to correct it. what he had done.
Analysis of the Meeting of Zacchaeus and Jesus
The Bible allows the believer to be taught the divine purpose, and the Gospel of Luke has the objective of communicating the liberation that Jesus granted to all, salvation given from mercy.
And in this case, the meeting of a sinner hated by all in his town is shown, but Jesus saw him with eyes of mercy since Zacchaeus had an unforgiving heart, but Jesus acted in love and was able to deliver his salvation.
In this way, it can be said that it was a meeting of transformation, and for this, what happened will be explained in detail:
Everything Happens in Jericho
This meeting of Jesus and Zacchaeus takes place in the city of Jericho, which was a very important urban centre, located between the regions of Judea and Perea. Being a border area it had a customs service and a large military garrison.
This was a commercial exchange area where many communications converged, being a city full of what was new for the time, being far from strict compliance with Jewish laws, so it was a place where sin dominated.
It is for this reason that this meeting that Jesus had in this place was not random, because he came to break the chains of impiety that moved in it, and he did it through one of the main authorities of the town.
Zacchaeus the Collector
This man who was eager to see Jesus was Zacchaeus, who was short in stature, and a person of the low esteem in the town, so he, separated from everyone, climbed a sycamore to better visualize the Messiah.
Jesus had been preaching for a long time, and he was a famous character, so the whole town crowded to see him pass, and Zacchaeus did not want to miss that opportunity, but he was surprised by the look of the Master, who spoke directly to him.
“When Jesus arrived at that place, looking up, he saw him and said to him: Zacchaeus, hurry up, come down because today it is necessary for me to stay in your house. Then he went down in haste and received him joyfully” (Luke 19:5-6)
Faced with that invitation that Jesus makes to Zacchaeus, he moved down from the tree immediately to be able to be close to the Messiah, who wanted to pose in his house.
the people whispered
After the invitation that Jesus made to Zacchaeus, it caused the irritation of the people who knew this man, so they accused Jesus of entering the house of a sinner.
However, in the face of those bad comments against Jesus and Zacchaeus, they did not pay attention to him but arranged to have that meeting in that house and share bread.
That generosity with which Jesus approached Zacchaeus broke all the prejudices that existed in this town, where having contact with sinners was an insult to the laws. However, Jesus showed through that encounter that they should see everyone with eyes of love and mercy, without judging.
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The Conversion of Zacchaeus
When Zacchaeus found himself in front of Jesus, he felt in his heart the mercy and love of God, who through Jesus gave him a new opportunity to be accepted despite his bad steps, that is why he repentant and decided to compensate all those whom he had harmed.
This act of generosity with which Zacchaeus acts after receiving that invitation from Jesus was adapted to the pre-registration required by law when someone stole from his brother.
With these words, Zacchaeus was acknowledging his sin in front of all the people, and in a humble way, he wanted to remedy the damage done to everyone in the town, because there was genuine repentance, so Jesus saw with good eyes what was happening.
Zacchaeus receives forgiveness
After Zacchaeus announced to all the people to repay all that he had taken from them, Jesus announced before everyone that on that day salvation had come to this sinful man, and he was absolved of the debts he owed before men and before God. God.
“Jesus said to him: Today salvation has come to this house; because he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:9-10).
With these words, Jesus announced to all those who judged Zacchaeus that he was being rescued and liberated by the power of God since he belonged to that chosen lineage.
Jesus ends by saying that his mission on earth was to free the oppressed for any reason, these words broke the chains of oppression that existed at that time, since they were led by the Pharisees, who deviated in precepts that left aside the mercy and love of God.
It can be said that this meeting between Jesus and Zacchaeus was not by chance, since everything Jesus did on earth was for a purpose, and that was to bring freedom to all those who were bound by the chains of sin.
It is for this reason that he did it with a relevant figure in the town of Jericho so that they would see the power of God through the one who was seen as a sinner, but would be transformed by this special encounter.
Conclusion: it can be said that in the life of Zacchaeus, the practice of sin did not satisfy him, and when he wanted to have that change, Jesus was able to help him and supply him, it was such a genuine and honest desire that he left the practice of sin in which incurred in his daily life.