“…which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.”  We know why he was rich: he took money that was not his.  His sins made him rich.  Why, if he was so rich, would he seek Jesus?  Temporal success is not happiness nor does it produce independence from God.  Perhaps he had been unhappy and dissatisfied for a long time, and something about Jesus must have given this man hope because he “sought to see Jesus who he was.”   Whether or not it began as a casual curiosity, it proved to be a strong desire.  I say it was a strong desire because he faced a difficulty (the crowd vs. his height) and was not deterred.  He was determined to see Jesus, so he took action.  He ran ahead, and climbed up into a sycamore tree.  Just curiosity?  Maybe, but it was his salvation.  When Jesus came by, it says that he “looked up and saw him.”  He had seen him before that.  Jesus saw him when he was hidden by the crowd, when he ran ahead, and while he waited in the tree.  Jesus had seen him each time he took money unjustly from any man.  He also saw his desire, and so he said, “Come down, for today I must abide at thy home.”  I can just imagine how quickly Zacchæus scrambled back down that tree, and with what joyfulness he began his plans of restoration.  His riches now meant nothing to him because he had found salvation.  This whole scene was something the self-righteous crowd could not understand, and they wondered why Jesus would want to be a guest at a sinner’s house.  Are any of us really worthy of God’s salvation?  Nevertheless, Jesus desires that everyone would seek him as diligently and receive him as joyfully as ol’ sinful Zacchæus.


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