Zacchaeus Through the Eyes of Jesus
by Allen Carter
Head of Development, CBN Europe
Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Zacchaeus was no exception. Read this beautiful account of Zacchaeus’s salvation…through the eyes of Jesus.
I saw beyond the outward facade of pride and intimidation.
I knew how much Zacchaeus was hated and rejected by those around him. He had made so many mistakes that he decided to climb and hide behind the branches and leaves to cover his shame.
Yet, he was inquisitive. I already knew how desperate he was to change, but he didn’t know how or where to begin. His lifestyle of corruption and stealing was a downward spiral that affected not only himself but everyone around him.
No longer could he be trusted.
When I saw him, I saw the potential within him and the lives that he would later impact. He was already a leader, a person of influence.
I looked up and called him by name.
He was so surprised; although we had never met before, I already knew him.
For years his name had been associated with corruption and greed. He was a tax collector, a traitor and an oppressor.
But I knew his name meant pure and innocent. I knew that his heart was about to change.
When I called his name and said, “Zacchaeus, you must immediately come down for today. I want to come to your house.” His heart began to beat faster and faster and yet become softer.
Never before had anyone looked into his eyes with love and compassion, only with hatred and anger. Never had anyone wanted to spend time with him; he was so lonely and isolated. A silent cry came from deep within him, to be loved and accepted rather than rejected.
Little did he know that this day would be the beginning of an adventure that he never thought possible.
‘For years his name had been associated with corruption and greed. He was a tax collector, a traitor and an oppressor.
But I knew his name meant pure and innocent. I knew that his heart was about to change.’
Seek and Save
He immediately came down, and I stood and embraced him. He had not experienced this for such a long time. To think that I knew him, despite his sin and everything he had done, I wanted to be with him.
Those who knew him for all the wrong reasons began to form their opinions and verbalise how unfair it was for me to go to his house. They didn’t know or recognise that I was a friend of sinners. I loved spending time with those whose lives were a mess and allowing them to repent and change.
Today was so different for Zacchaeus; I went to his home. I wasn’t impressed by his wealth, for I knew his riches were obtained by dishonest gain. When we sat down to talk, I looked into his eyes and immediately, they began to well up. I didn’t need to mention his past or shortcomings; he was already fully aware of the heavy weight of guilt and shame, and he was desperate to change.
I determined that I would continue to reach out with words of affirmation and love, for I knew that this was something that he had lacked for so long. After a while, he knew that he was loved and responded by saying, “What must I do to be saved?” I explained the way of salvation. He instantly replied.
As soon as he had repented for all he had done, his whole countenance changed, the guilt and shame lifted off him, and he was free, radically free. He agreed to give half what he owned to the poor and anyone he had wrongfully taken; he would pay back four times.
On this day, salvation had come to this house.
My heart is to seek and save those who are lost.