Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled. Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
Did you notice it says, "But all who saw it began to grumble”? When we celebrate others blessings we get to be included in them! But when we grumble we miss out on meeting with Jesus. I wonder if the crowd would have joined them if they hadn't judged?
I love what an encounter with Jesus does to us. Zach previously has lived a life of corruption and greed but now is willing to give away half of his wealth. Money no longer had a grip on him. He found a greater treasure in Jesus.
Yes! His kindness leads us to repentance. I imagine Zach felt very surprised at the changes in himself, that came so quickly. He sets us free from what the world offers and from what so easily entangles us!
Zach experienced the power of the gospel. “It’s by God’s grace that we are saved.” His grace is designed to change our attitude toward our finances. His grace is revealed in our generosity. When Jesus is our treasure, our internal motivations change. Yes, His kindness surely leads us to repentance!
The passage continues: "Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham." Jesus loved Zach's faith!
The world says you have to go get salvation, but in the gospel salvation comes to us. It comes to those who don’t deserve it but are freely given it.