I Want to See Jesus!
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson
“1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see Him since Jesus was coming that way. 5 When Jesus reached the spot, He looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.’ 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.’ 8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.’ 9 Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.’”
Last week I received a request from a friend of mine for any information I may have about Zacchaeus. I didn’t expect to be able to provide anything of substance, but how wrong I was. Let me share with you some of the insights I discovered in Luke 19 about this remarkable man.
The Bible speaks for itself. Here are some of my observations concerning this passage:
1. The location was Jericho and Jesus was just passing through. It seems He had not planned to stop in Jericho.
2. Being wealthy and a tax collector were two big issues for these judgmental Jews. They despised tax collectors (Matthew was one) and no doubt concluded that he was wealthy because of cheating people on their taxes.
3. It is interesting that he wanted to see who Jesus was—not just a casual interest in laying his eyes on Him—but to see Jesus with his heart as well as his eyes. There was such a crowd that it prevented him from seeing over the crowd.
4. Verse four is amazing! It indicates a loss of dignity for this chief tax collector and rich man to behave like a small school boy who runs and climbs in order to catch a glimpse of a dignitary.
5. Not only did Zacchaeus get to see Jesus, but Jesus saw him and knew him by name. Jesus invited Himself to spend time in Zacchaeus’ house.
6. Zacchaeus was overjoyed to be able to entertain Jesus, but the Jews grumbled because they looked upon Zacchaeus as a sinner.
7. Verse eight is to me one of the most amazing math lessons in Scripture. Zacchaeus was so touched by the presence of Jesus that he determined to give half of his wealth to the poor. That leaves him with only 1/2 of his net worth-right? Now he goes on and promises to pay back 4 times the amount if he has cheated anyone. Wait a minute! He only has 1/2 of his original wealth, so if he was any sort of cheat he would not have any money to repay 4 times the amount. This tells me that Zacchaeus must have been an honest man.
8. By His own words, Jesus proclaimed that Zacchaeus was saved that day. Jesus knew his heart and while the judgmental Jews saw him as a sinner, Jesus brought him salvation and an eternal reward.
When we have a desire to see Jesus—regardless of the costs—we will not only see Jesus but He will come to abide with us. He knows our heart and it is not so much the words we use, but the sincerity of our heart that make the difference. Let’s go see Jesus!
Blessings dear hearts. Draw near to God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing!
— Pastor Cecil
Insights on John – Chuck Swindoll
Hardcover Book: $20.84 (last checked)
Insights on John is part of the 15-volume Swindoll’s Living Insights New Testament Commentary series. This newly revised and expanded edition draws on Gold Medallion Award–winner Chuck Swindoll’s 50 years of experience with studying and preaching God’s Word. His deep insight, signature easygoing style, and humor bring a warmth and practical accessibility not often found in commentaries.