Years ago, a newspaper carried a remarkable story about a man who turned to God. After he accepted Christ, he admitted robbing a bank when he was 19 years old. Even though the state could no longer indict him, he not only confessed his part in the crime, he repaid his share of the stolen money. He did what Zacchaeus said he would do after he met Jesus. We read in Luke 19 that Zacchaeus was the chief tax collector in Jericho—very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus but was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore. When Jesus came by, He looked up at Zacchaeus, called him by name, and said, “Zacchaeus, quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” He quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. Later at dinner, he 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!” Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today; this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save those who are lost.” Zachaeus realized that in coming to Jesus, his lifestyle needed to change, not to qualify for God’s grace, but in response to God’s forgiveness and acceptance of him.
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