... "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay
at your house today" (Luke 19:5b).
Read Luke 19:1-10
Jesus' final week is just a few days away. He has come
to Jericho to spend the night, but His host is not home.
So Jesus passes through town to find him.
Zacchaeus is a chief tax collector and extremely wealthy.
But he left his tax office when he heard Jesus had come
to town. He knew Jesus' reputation-while the Jews and
their leaders despised tax collectors as traitors and
thieves-Jesus was known as a friend to tax collectors.
Rushing to the far edge of town, he climbed a tree to see
Jesus comes right up to that spot, stops, and looks up
into the tree. Calling Zacchaeus by name, He tells him to
come down quickly. Jesus wants to spend this night in his
Zacchaeus scurries down and receives Jesus with great joy.
The crowd hears this and is terribly scandalized. How
could Jesus choose to stay in the home of a notorious
sinner? What they didn't know is that Jesus had already
begun to change Zacchaeus' heart. The chief tax collector
was repenting of his sins and planning to make amends for
his past wrongdoings.
Jesus points out that Zacchaeus is a son of Abraham just
as are those in the crowd. True children of Abraham share
Abraham's faith in God's promise to send the Christ or
Messiah. Zacchaeus knew Jesus had given him a great
honor by staying in his house. But did he know His Lord
had chosen to spend one of the last precious nights He
had on earth with him?
Lord Jesus Christ, with amazing grace You sought out the
despised chief tax collector Zacchaeus and honored him by
staying at His house that night. Help us appreciate the honor
You give us, by promising to remain with us always. Amen.
Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries