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Did Zacchaeus Buy His Salvation?
And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” - Luke 19:8, ESV
Almost everyone knows the story of Zacchaeus, who "was a wee little man, and a wee little man was he." He was a notoriously corrupt tax-collector who wanted desperately to see Jesus. Being "vertically challenged," he had to climb a tree to get a glimpse of Jesus. But it was not Zacchaeus seeing Jesus but Jesus seeing Zacchaeus that was most important.
When Jesus saw the short tax-collector/extortionist in the tree, He asked him to come down and then invited Himself to his house. Immediately, the religious people began gossiping about how Jesus was going to be the guest of a notorious sinner. Zacchaeus then astounded the condemning crowd by announcing his incredible new refund program: a fourfold refund of any money he had extorted from anyone, on top of giving half of his goods to the poor.
The challenging part of this passage comes next. In response to what Zacchaeus says, Jesus proclaims, "
Praise the Lord!
We praise Your name, O Lord,
giving praise to You as Your servants,
whom You are building into Your living house,
living stones of the house of our God!
We praise You, O Lord, for You are good;
we sing to Your name, for it is pleasant!
For You have chosen us for Yourself,
to be Your own eternal possession.
We know that You, O Lord, are great,
and that You are far above all gods.
Whatever You please, You do,
in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and all deeps.
You are the One who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth,
who makes lightnings for the rain
and brings forth the wind from Your storehouses.
He it was who struck down Satan at the cross,
cancelling his accusations against us;
You set us free from the curse of sin and death,
and gave us an eternal inheritance with You.
Your name, O Lord, endures forever,
Your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages.
For You, Lord, will vindicate his people
and have compassion on his servants.
The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but do not speak;
they have eyes, but do not see;
they have ears, but do not hear,
nor is there any breath in their mouths.
Those who make them become like them,
so do all who trust in them.
We bless You, O Lord, the one true and living God!
In Jesus' name, Amen.