When the “chief tax collector,” Zacchaeus, was claimed by Jesus, the Lord’s grace changed the way that this rich man thought about his money. Through experiences such as his, the gospel would move forward throughout the world in the centuries to come. God would entrust His gifts to human beings who would be told to use them for His glory. Nearly everyone “supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately,” but this would not be the case. The Almighty would work through millions of people like Zacchaeus.
Some of those who were once marked with the sign of circumcision as covenant-keeping Jews would nonetheless reject the Son of God. Jesus told those listening to Him a story about a “nobleman” who would go off “into a far country” and who would eventually return to his property. Some of his “citizens” would have a very rebellious attitude toward their leader and would pay for it with their lives. A few would serve very faithfully and would be rewarded. Others would be unwilling to spend their time and treasures for the master. Such “wicked” servants would lose everything they counted as their own.
As Jesus came into Jerusalem, it was obvious that many in that great city were expecting His immediate ascension to the throne of David. Christ knew better, and He wept over the city since they would suffer so horribly because of their rejection of the Messiah.
It is still an important truth for the church throughout the world today that the culmination of Jehovah’s plans will not come to fruition according to man’s schedule. Only God is sovereign over eternity. In the meantime, many a Zacchaeus will be granted new life, and the Holy One of Israel will use them to bring His saving love to those who have not yet heard the good news of the cross and the resurrection.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Lord of Hosts, You know what is in the heart of everyone. You see the Zacchaeus hiding in a tree, and even more amazingly, You are very aware of the repentance that You freely grant to a wicked man. You seek and save the lost. Teach us about true kingdom priorities so that we will be willing to invest our lives for Your glory. Father, we surrender to You and will be bold for Your church. Lead us by Your Spirit in profitable directions. Your Son gave everything that He had in His ministry. He rode into Jerusalem as the Messiah King. Even now we cry out to You. Have pity on the faithful and rescue us from distress. Your enemies would turn Your house of prayer into a den of robbers and even attempt to destroy us. We will take our refuge in You, O God. You will surely deliver us out of every evil.