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Emanna for 03/02/2018

The Dynamic Salvation of Zaccheus

Bible Verses

Luke 19:1 And He entered and was passing through Jericho. (2) And behold, there was a man whose name was called Zaccheus; and he was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. (3) And he was seeking to see Jesus, who He was, and could not because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. (4) And he ran on ahead and climbed up in a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. (5) And as He came to the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay in your house. (6) And he hurried and came down, and received Him, rejoicing. (7) And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, He has gone in to lodge with a sinful man. (8) And Zaccheus stood and said to the Lord, Behold, the half of my possessions, Lord, I give to the poor, and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore four times as much.

Words of Ministry

As a chief tax collector, Zaccheus was a chief sinner, a leading sinner. He became rich through his sinfulness as a tax collector. In his confession to the Lord related to restitution and clearing of the past, Zaccheus said to Him, "...if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusations, I restore four times as much" (v. 8). We may regard the words "if I have taken anything" as a euphemism, a nice way of referring to extortion. Tax collectors put a higher value on property or increased the tax of those unable to pay and then charged high interest. This was the way they extorted others. What Zaccheus did in restoring four times the amount he extorted was very honest. A man who had become rich by being sinful, Zaccheus now wanted to make full restitution in order to clear up his sinful past.

Zaccheus certainly was an isolated person. He was despised to the uttermost by the Jewish community and was even more isolated than a leper. Nevertheless, in front of a large crowd the Savior told Zaccheus, "Today I must stay in your house." What a great surprise that was to Zaccheus and to everyone in the crowd! The entire city of Jericho must have been shaken by it. Verse 7 says, "And seeing it, they all grumbled, saying, He has gone in to lodge with a sinful man."

In verses 1 through 7 we are not told that the Lord said much to Zaccheus. Zaccheus, however, responded in a very strong way, recognizing the Savior as his Lord. "And Zaccheus stood and said to the Lord, Behold, the half of my possessions, Lord, I give to the poor" (v. 8). Zaccheus could utter such a word even though he had not heard the Man-Savior's teaching concerning
[deliverance from]
material possessions. This was the spontaneous issue of the dynamic power of the Lord's salvation.

Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry from Witness Lee, Life-study of Luke, pp. 369-371. Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA.

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