Recently, my granddaughter called and said, “Hey, papa, guess who I studied about in church today? Zach!” I replied, “Zach?” “Yes, He is Zach, Zach he is.” “Oh, Zacchaeus!” She replied, “Yes, Zach, he is!” She was so proud of learning the memorable children’s Bible character.
We can all learn lessons from Zach. In Luke 19, we read about Zacchaeus. Here are 3 simple lessons I glean from the story of Zach that helps us in every step of our faith journey.
1) No one is “too bad” to be saved.
Zach was considered to be one of the worst kind of sinners. He was a cheating tax collector and deeply hated by the people of that culture. As Christians we often see some people as sinners that are “too bad” to be saved. Come on, let’s be honest. What do you think of when you hear the word, “prostitute?” We often jump to a judgmental conclusion. A few years ago, my wife and I were asked to help serve Thanksgiving dinner to a difficult area of the city. It turned out we served free turkey dinners at the back door of a building to women as they got off work from dancing at a nude dance bar. We met one lady that asked for 5 meals. She stated that she was leaving work to check on her kids before going out all night to “work the streets.” She agreed to let us pray with her. As tears rolled down her cheeks she replied, “I don’t know how else to support my family.” That day she ask God to help her turn from her past.
My wife and I learned that day to quit judging and pre-judging others and that all of us can find salvation.
2) Jesus hung around sinners.
Jesus wasn’t afraid to go to Zach’s house and hang out with him. I realize that life is rough for all of us and that our focus often becomes about survival. But when is the last time we started reaching out to our neighbors and other hurting people in the world and develop a relationship with them. Not just a “meet at Starbucks” relationship, but a “come to my house” relationship.
3) A converted person is a changed person.
Zach changed his life that day he met Jesus. How often we seek to trust Christ with our lives yet we are not willing to change. If we are truly tired of living a life of struggles and problems, we must be willing to change from living in fear to living with faith and trust.
I hope that you will sense God’s strength and peace in your life as you learn lessons from Zach.