Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”
What transpired to bring salvation to Zacchaeus? It’s Good News that he could be saved since he was a vile tax collector! He was a Jew who overtaxed his fellow Jews for the hated Romans. This job, and the way he carried it out, made him very wealthy and very despised. What did a guy like this do to receive salvation – which is what Jesus said. “Today salvation has come to this house.” Here are the variables that I see coming together that meant salvation for Zacchaeus.
- He was a son of Abraham. In spite of his wrong ‘business practices,’ Zacchaeus was still an Israelite. Heritage matters. In other places we read that Jesus’ ministry was directed to the nation of Israel. Later the church would take the Gospel to all the other nations. It seems that Jesus makes this comment for those listening. Zacchaeus’ identity had been consumed by that of ‘dreaded Roman tax collector’ – but this was not his true self! He was a son of Abraham. Salvation came as Zacchaeus remembered who he was.
- Zacchaeus acted on his curiosity of Jesus. He wanted to see Jesus, but the odds were stacked ‘high’ against him. ☺ Zacchaeus overcame his obstacles to get a clearer view of Christ. If he had walked away that day salvation would not have come to his household.
- Jesus invited Zacchaeus into relationship with Him. In the 1st Century to be in a person’s home and to share a meal with them was a significant relationship marker. It spoke of mutual respect and appreciation. What an honor for Zacchaeus! He had the Lord in his home! What an invitation Jesus made to him that day…
- Zacchaeus came down from the tree ‘at once’ and welcomed Jesus gladly into his home. No delay… no excuses! He received Jesus with joy… and this lead to his salvation.
- Zacchaeus repents! Unlike the Rich Young Ruler in the previous chapter (Luke 18:18-25), Zacchaeus’s wealth did not keep him from salvation. Due to the very Presence and relationship with Jesus, Zacchaeus gives away half of his possessions to the poor and promises to make restitution to anyone he had cheated. Four times the amount was way beyond anyone’s expectation or what would be necessary. All of this came from Zacchaeus, unprompted by Jesus. Unlike the Rich Young Ruler where Jesus gave instructions to what that young man should do, Zacchaeus does this on his own.
Jesus’ response: Salvation has come to this house.
I certainly need salvation to come to my house! Jesus is the Savior. When He comes, He brings salvation. In Christ salvation has invited itself over. Have I welcomed it gladly as Zacchaeus did? Have I embraced the Savior fully? Have I responded spontaneously with repentance and generosity simply because of Jesus’ Presence?
Every person… every family needs to have Salvation come over to their house. It will differently in every home, but Salvation still comes. As people are re-introduced to their true selves (they are loved by God Almighty, children of the King!); as they pursue Christ and gladly welcome Him into their homes as He has requested; As they repent of things that have been greater than Jesus in their lives (these are sometimes called idols) – Salvation comes to their home and into their lives.
“Blessed are You, the King who comes in the Name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the Highest!” Yes, Hosanna – Lord, save us today…