“He entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich.” Luke 19:1-2 NASB
In an age where NFL quarterbacks are signing contracts for over a hundred million dollars, boxers like Floyd Mayweather Jr. making $14,815.00 per second, $889,889.00 a minute in his match against Manny Pacquiao, and company executives make hundreds of thousands a year, it is easy to get lost in all the hype and status of being rich.
Titles and money can bring cultural status but our true worth can only be found in Jesus.
Zacchaeus is a man who had status. He is described in this passage as “chief tax collector”.
This title is found nowhere else in the New Testament. Jericho was a major toll collection point for goods passing from the east and west. There were likely many tax collectors in this city but Zacchaeus is described as rich, and the Chief tax collector.
Yet despite his wealth and status, Zacchaeus runs and climbs a tree just to get a glimpse of Jesus passing by.
Zacchaeus is described as a man small in stature, he could not have seen Jesus on account of the crowd.
Jesus routinely had huge crowds following him and now its Passover, the crowd is probably as big as ever.
Zacchaeus climbs a sycamore tree to see the Lord, and when he encounters Jesus he receives him joyfully.
Faith brought salvation to the house of Zacchaeus.
In experiencing this saving faith, Zacchaeus realized his true worth could only be found in Jesus.
Zacchaeaus immediately sought to right the wrongs he had committed and Jesus, seeing the condition of his heart, declares, “today salvation has come to this house.”
The contrast between Jesus and Zacchaeus can found in their actions. Zacchaeus, after a change of heart, seeks to make things right with those he has wronged, while Jesus, passing through Jericho on His way to Jerusalem, is making things right with people who have wronged Him.
Our true worth can only be found in Jesus, regardless of our title or status.