Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I'm found, was blind, but now I see.Zacchaeus knew the words to that song before it was written. He had experienced firsthand God's amazing grace. He was not blind, but too small to see until he climbed up to higher ground. His encounter with Jesus that day changed his life forever. Here is a recap. When Zacchaeus heard about the man Jesus, it grew a curiosity that had to be quenched. He, a wealthy tax collector, wanted to know the answer to this question: "Jesus, who are you?" He decided to seek and find out for himself. When Zacchaeus heard that Jesus would be passing through his hometown of Jericho, he went to investigate. When he hiked over to get a view, he found that the crowd was large and he was short, too short to see. Anxious to get a glimpse, little Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree where Jesus was in clear view. Small and insignificant as he may have felt, Zacchaeus might have gone unnoticed, but not to Jesus. As Jesus passed by, Zacchaeus became His main focus. Jesus stopped and spoke to Zacchaeus as if was the only one there. "Zacchaeus, come down quickly!” Jesus said. As Zacchaeus obeyed, he was filled with joy. Jesus not only took note of this little man, but invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ home. The next words Jesus spoke changed Zacchaeus’ life forever.
And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost."His encounter with Christ caused him to be repentant.
"Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over,” Zacchaeus professed. (Luke 19:6, 8-10)Image credit: Mary's Rosaries Public Domain Pictures.[/caption] As I contemplated this scripture, I was struck by two words that Jesus spoke: "Come down!” In obeying these two words, Zacchaeus, an ordinary man, experienced a life-changing effect. He was so small that he had to climb a tree to see, but found that he was not insignificant at all. Then I asked myself, these questions.
- Who else in the scriptures was asked to come down?
- What were they asked to come down from?
- What do I need to come down from this Lent?
Copyright 2019 Ellen Mongan
About the Author
Ellen Mongan, a Catholic writer and speaker, has been married more than 40 years to Deacon Pat Mongan. They have 7 children and 12 grandchildren. Ellen is a host of WOW Radio Podcasts, a religious columnist for the Augusta Chronicle, and has spoken on both radio and television. She is the founder of Sisters in Christ, Little Pink Dress Ministry, and Women-Fests.