The first ten verses of Luke 19 tells of a man “small in statue,” but the big “chief tax collector that was rich” by the name of Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus had several obstacles against him the day he heard that Jesus was coming into his town. Not only was he short, he was despised by his own people that he had ripped off that would be in the crowd, he was a publican—and they certainly were skeptics of Jesus, not to mention that he was at the top of his game already and what did he need from anyone.
However, Zacchaeus was curious. Maybe, newly converted Levi that was also a publican and of the same vocation had told him about Jesus. Maybe he wanted to see what the excitement was about. Whatever the reason, Zacchaeus must see Jesus.
So, this chief tax collector in his designer suit of the day, leaves his dignity and pride behind runs like a little child in his desire to see Jesus drove him up a tree, literally. No doubt, Zacchaeus thought he would get a good glance of Jesus without being noticed by the Son of God. The truth is according to John 3:16, Jesus came so that NONE would perish and that included cheating, betraying, stealing tax collectors.
Of course, Zacchaeus did not escape Jesus’ notice. In fact, Jesus invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ house at their first encounter and Zacchaeus quickly responded. The crowd didn’t understand why Jesus would want to be with such a rascal simply because they didn’t understand Jesus or His mission. The world today still doesn’t get it.
That day, at Jesus’ invitation to be with Zacchaeus everything changed. Salvation was experienced when Jesus came to him. Repentance and retribution was made by Zacchaeus. The “big” lifestyle of the past was gone, but this small man could really live “big” because now he had an eternal future with his Savior. It just doesn’t get better than that!