“That rotten Zack, he stole my snack!
He ate my lunch and popped the sack.
He stole the coins from my backpack.
It was an unfair tax attack. If only I could get him back…”
The idea of loving one’s enemy was probably the last thing most people were thinking of when they saw Jesus talking to Zacchaeus. Here was a man who had cheated them, pointing his finger when they didn’t think they’d paid enough. He had made himself rich off of their misery.
As they saw it, Zacchaeus had fallen far short of God’s glory – definitely further than they themselves had. But Jesus wanted to spend some time with good old Zack, so He invited Himself over to his house. The onlookers shook their heads. Was Jesus crazy? Was He really going to be a guest at the house of that – that –
“That rotten Zack who stole my snack,
who ate my lunch and popped the sack,
who stole the coins from my backpack?
It was an unfair tax attack. If only I could get him back…
But Jesus is there, and I don’t think He’d let me. He’d probably say I should forgive him. But if only – if only I could get even…”
Zack was overjoyed that Jesus would want to see him. Once he got to know the Lord, he had a change of heart. He decided to give half his goods to the poor and to repay everyone he had cheated through false accusation. He said he’d give back four times what he stole.
Jesus called Zacchaeus a “son of Abraham,” who is known as the father of faith. Abraham was rich, but he was also generous, trusting God to supply all his needs. Zack was rich too, but he had been greedy. Then he met Jesus and decided to pay back what he had stolen. Can you imagine how the people he had stolen from rejoiced to receive back from him four times what he had taken?
Zacchaeus was a cheater who had a change of heart. Like many vanity publishers today, he had cheated people out of their hard-earned money and given them nothing in return. But he had a change of heart, which is something that should give us hope. For our God is a God of restitution and if we invite Jesus into the situation, will He not repay us for whatever loss we’ve suffered?
So, let’s forgive those who have cheated us, because you never know if God might not use one of them to bless you in the end.