Have you ever wanted to change something about yourself, but weren’t able to?
Zacchaeus was a man of great wealth. In a material sense, he had it all. But Zacchaeus wasn’t happy. He knew something was missing in his life, but he didn’t know how to change. Then he heard Jesus was coming to his town. He had heard about Jesus, heard about the miracles he was doing for people, and heard about the way he was changing people’s lives. Zacchaeus wanted to change—he wanted a greater purpose than just collecting wealth for himself.
Yearning For Purpose
Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.
Zacchaeus felt eager to change. He was doing whatever he could to get close to Jesus so that he could have a new opportunity in life. And Jesus responded to his eager heart! Jesus also wanted to be close to him and told him that he would even come to his home.
But then the people around him starting doubting his ability to change and pointed out his flaws.
Tuning Out The Crowd
When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” 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.
Zacchaeus probably felt discouraged and started doubting that he could ever be different. The fear of what people thought about him probably filled his head. The negative thoughts – “People hate me”; “I’m worthless”; “No one cares about me or believes in me” – were probably filling Zacchaeus’ mind. It’s easy to get focused on people and wanting to please them. When we’re focused on people, we lose confidence quickly since our security is based on what they think. When we’re focused on God, we are able to gain real confidence, which in turn helps us overcome our fears.
Zacchaeus chose to listen to Jesus’ words instead of people’s remarks. This gave him the strength to make a dramatic change.
A Leap of Faith
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!”
Zacchaeus decided to take a leap of faith. He decided to take on a radical change of character because he recognized that this would bring him the relationships and happiness he was looking for.
What radical change do you need to make?
What is holding you back from making this change?
Making the decision to live by faith instead of fear can bring the life-changes and fulfillment you are looking for!