- Religion and Philosophy
Mercy Saw A Lonely Tax Collector
Mercy Saw A Lonely Tax Collector
But Zacchaeus stand 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.”
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 save what was lost. “
Luke 19 : 8-10
He was considered a wealthy man in the town of Jericho.Whatsoever his heart desire he can buy.He is living in a palatial house with many servants. He eats the best delicacies. He drinks the most choiced wine. He wears the best set of wardrobes. He is comforted by the best form of entertainment in town. He has a vast amount of reserves in the bank. What more does he lack ?Yet he is still very lonely. There is an emptiness in his heartas deep as the ocean that cannot be satisfiedby whatever possession he has,by whatever form of entertainment he provide for himself. He is wondering why amidst his vast wealthand prosperity, true happiness seems to elude him.He cannot find significance and satisfaction in his life.
One day, their town has a prominent visitor, the fast-becoming popular healer and teacherwho has been a byword of the town folks lately. His great miracles and teachings have spread all over the cities. He is no other than the greatest teacher of all, the Rabbi Jesus.
Zacchaeus, the lonely wealthy man becomes excited and a longing in his heart to see and know Jesus arise. He said in his heart, ‘I must go out to see him.’ As he walked out of his house, he saw so much crowd around Jesus. He cannot get into the crowd. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd.So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore figtree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.When Jesus reached that spot, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus come down immediately. I must stay at your house today. ‘ So Zacchaeus came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
This divinely appointedmeeting of Zacchaeus with Jesus made a very great difference in the rich man’s life. Jesus alone has all the keys and solution to his loneliness and emptiness. He has never been happier before.Zacchaeus made a total surrender of his life to the Lordship of JesusChrist that made him repented of all his sins. He is evenwilling to give half of his wealth to the poor for his new Lord. This is indeed true repentance.This Jesus who has the words of ‘eternal life’is now the true source of joy and security in his life. No longer he will hold onto his wealth for they cannot guarantee them eternal salvation. He longs to have something more, the assurance of eternal life and a place in the Kingdom of God.
Zacchaeus was lonely before despite his vast wealthbecause he is living a life which is alienated from God . Jesus offers him a relationship that guarantees him eternal life. And money cannot buy such relationship.No matter how wealthy one has become, he will never be truly happy apart from God.For man’s greatest need is the salvation of his soul and only God can give that. A life lived apart from God is a wasted life no matter how successful it has become by the world’s standard.
Jesus invited himself to Zacchaeus house inspite of what people will say. The depth of Zacchaeus sin and loneliness is a great burden to him that he cannot set aside. It is not by coincident that Jesus entered Jerichoat that time, he purposed it for Zacchaeus. Jesus mercy reaches out to Zacchaeus, a wealthy man deeply engrossed in sin of corruption and greed.This is indeed a great display of God’s marvelous gracewhich reaches out even to the most defiled.