How Christ Works In and Through Us — Luke 19
As a chief tax collector and sinner, Zacchaeus knew the law. After Jesus saved him, Zacchaeus told Jesus that if he had broken the law when collecting taxes and had cheated anyone that he would make amends and repay them four times the amount he had stolen. He would repay the one robbed according to the Law of Moses regarding restitution for stolen sheep: “If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep” (Exodus 22:1).
Because Jesus saved Zacchaeus and gave him spiritual life, Jesus also became his Lord. Zacchaeus did not return to obeying the Law of Moses so Jesus would save him. Rather, as consequence of Jesus saving him, he began obeying Jesus as Lord.
This miracle of Zacchaeus’ changed life made as much impression, if not more, than any of Jesus’ other physical miracles. Jesus can bring physical life into a person and raise them from the dead or save them from accidents and near death. More importantly, Jesus can give spiritual life to a person and raise them up to serve Him as their Lord and Savior.
After Jesus gave spiritual life to Zacchaeus, he turned from his love of money to loving Jesus and others, especially his neighbors who were poor. Only a person in love with money would willingly accept the scorn and hatred of all his Jewish neighbors to collect taxes for the Roman government. When Zacchaeus began repaying anyone he might have defrauded, and when he began showing the love of God for his neediest neighbors by selling and giving away his possessions, he demonstrated the power of Jesus to radically transform a person’s life. After Jesus turned Zacchaeus’ life direction from loving money to loving of God, Jesus demonstrated another way that God can work in a through people—all who will turn to Jesus in repentance and faith. No doubt from Zacchaeus’ deeds and words, many of his neighbors began to rejoice and trust in Jesus too.
In some way, everyone has been like Zacchaeus. Sometimes we have loved the things of this world more than we have loved God. We have disobeyed God and we have taken unjust advantage of others in some way whether great or small. But because Jesus works spiritual miracles, He found us and saved us, in the power of the Holy Spirit we now love and obey God. We want to obey the Ten Commandments with God’s help. It is a miracle that we want Jesus Christ to work in and through us so others can come to know Him and His redeeming love too. Now, we love God more than the world and we want to express our love for God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit more and more each day. Because Jesus is working in and through us, we want to glorify and honor Jesus by how we serve Jesus and express our love for Jesus and others. Because the Holy Spirit inspires us to pray and study the Bible, we want to learn more about God and Jesus and how the Holy Spirit can work in and through us to do God’s will. By how we love and live, we hope to show the results of salvation and the free gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus. We want to make God happy as one of His beloved children. By such choices as these, we honor Jesus by showing the world that He has made us alive; and by doing so, some will be drawn to Him and He will raise them to new life and begin to work in and through them too.
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