The story of Zacchaeus who was the chief collector and he was wealthy. And Jesus already was prepared for him and that he was waiting to be saved. Zacchaeus was curious to see for himself who Jesus is. However, the crowd was judging Zacchaeus and Jesus for talking with a sinner at the entrance of His house, but Jesus defended that He was here to save the lost. Jesus stayed at Zacchaeus house that night and had dinner with his family. At the same night Zacchaeus was cut to the heart convicted and restituted And after being redeemed he was prepared to give half away of his possession to the poor and truly repented for his sins for cheating the poor by compensating 4 times the amount he cheated.
The above Bible Story is told in Luke: 19. 1. And he entered and was passing through Jericho. 2. And behold, a man called by name Zacchaeus; and he was a chief publican, and he was rich. 3. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the crowd, because he was little of stature. 4. And he ran on before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. 5. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to-day I must abide at thy house. 6. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. 7. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, He is gone in to lodge with a man that is a sinner. 8. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have wrongfully exacted aught of any man, I restore fourfold. 9. And Jesus said unto him, To-day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10. For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost.
During the time of Jesus, the present day Palestine and Jerusalem city was ruled by the Roman Empire and they contracted local tax collectors and aristocrats like Zacchaeus to collect taxes from the people. However, the locals regarded them to be sinners for they exploited their authority and made them wealthy by excessive taxes beyond the stipulated amounts, which put a heavy burden on the poor and working class as seen in Luke: 15. 1. Now all the publicans and sinners were drawing near unto him to hear him. Others than those blood suckers and criminals; the working class, the commoners, the scribes and pharisees considered themselves to be non sinners. Therefore, When they saw Jesus engaging Zacchaeus instead of them, they quickly misread Jesus’s true intention of saving a seeking man and they judged based on having dinner and stayed at that rich man’s villa and therfore criticized and slandered Him in public as seen in Luke: 5. 30. And the Pharisees and their scribes murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with the publicans and sinners?
Bible memory verses suggestions and Sunday School sharing points:
1) God always looks in your heart and not in our stature and outward appearance as described in 1 Samuel: 16. 7. But Jehovah said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have rejected him: for [Jehovah seeth] not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but Jehovah looketh on the heart. Because God already know those people who has not a place for Him in their hearts except other worldly possessions and pleasures, Those are the one that displease God for their corrupt minds and wrongful deeds as explained in Psalm: 14. 1. For the Chief Musician. [A Psalm] of David. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works; There is none that doeth good.
2) Zacchaeus who was a sinner as described in Romans: 3. 23. for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; But he was saved because he believed in the salvation of the Son of God and not by his own restitution and repentance as explained in Habakkuk: 2. 4. Behold, his soul is puffed up, it is not upright in him; but the righteous shall live by his faith. And he was saved by the grace of God and made righteous through faith unto Christ Jesus as revealed in Romans: 1. 17. For therein is revealed a righteousness of God from faith unto faith: as it is written, But the righteous shall live by faith.
3) Being good children of God, we not only need to have faith and believe in the salvation of God but also need to receive, read, learn, meditate and apply the Word of God as depicted in Acts: 16. 29. And he called for lights and sprang in, and, trembling for fear, fell down before Paul and Silas, 30. and brought them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house. 32. And they spake the word of the Lord unto him, with all that were in his house. If we want to be saved and restored to the bosom of Father God, we need to understand and trust the fact that no one in the history of civilizations has saved more people in the past and present than Christ Jesus; for our Lord Jesus is the true vine and the way and the light on the path to our Abba God.
4) Lastly to be save by God’s grace and love, we need to develop faith from within. The kind of faith needed is the unconditional seeking and trusting in the love of God and that He will bring us through all into victory despite how dire the situation may be now as seen in the testament of faith in God by Abraham who is the father of all nations in Romans: 4. 16. For this cause [it is] of faith, that [it may be] according to grace; to the end that the promise may be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17. (as it is written, A father of many nations have I made thee) before him whom he believed, [even] God, who giveth life to the dead, and calleth the things that are not, as though they were. 18. Who in hope believed against hope, to the end that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken, So shall thy seed be.