IF YOU HAVE MESSED UP, THERE'S STILL HOPE- 6- ZACCHAEUS
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.'" But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. (Luke 19:1-9)
Not right with God, not right with men, is how one could describe Zacchaeus. People called him a sinner. He was into cheating and had hoarded wealth and was unpopular with the local folk. Righteous "Chief Tax Collectors" were hard to find in his times and he was no exception.
There were things he couldn't redeem with his wealth and his height was one of them. The heights of richness in his life could not increase his stature. Wonder what spurred him to climb that sycamore-fig tree? Was it just curiosity to see the miracle man or was he prompted by God to be at the right place at the right time for a dramatic change to come into his life. His being there, Jesus looking up and telling him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately, I must stay at your house today" seems to have been divinely arranged. Zacchaeus was a changed man, once Jesus came into his life. His transformation was remarkable and his statements,"Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount" speaks about his radical transformation from a "bad guy" to a "good guy". Jesus knew the change was genuine and so he remarked, " "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham."
John the Baptist preached, "Produce fruit in keeping with repentance." and Zacchaeus' decision to effect change in his life immediately is a fine example of that.
IF YOU HAVE MESSED UP, THERE'S STILL HOPE. REMEMBER, GOD CAN CHANGE YOUR FAILURES INTO SUCCESS.