Luke 19:9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.
Isn’t it incredible how an encounter with Jesus can change your life?!!! Zacchaeus had no clue how radically his life was going to be changed when he decided to try and see this Jesus who was coming through town. Maybe he was hoping to see a miracle done or possibly just to see this man who was doing such amazing things. Whatever his motivation, God’s work in his life became a main event of that day.
In reading about Zacchaeus I think of the jailer in Macedonia who was saved through the ministry of Paul and Silas (Acts 16). Paul had been looking to go elsewhere but he received a vision of a man of Macedonia, standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” So they went.
Their ministry there seemed ‘normal’ until Paul cast a spirit out of a slave girl that enabled her to tell the future and earn her owners a great deal of money. Then the uproar over this event turned Paul and Silas into public enemies 1 & 2. They were drug before the magistrate, stripped and severely flogged and thrown in prison. The jailer was commanded to guard them carefully.
During the night a violent earthquake shook the prison, opening the prison doors and releasing all the prisoners from their chains. The jailer woke up and saw this and was going to kill himself but he was stopped by Paul’s shout that everyone was still there. Then he came and fell trembling before Paul and Silas, brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
Paul & Silas spoke the word of the Lord to him and all in his house. Then, still in the middle of the night, they were all then saved and baptized and filled with great joy. At daylight the magistrate sent men to release Paul & Silas – that they could go in peace. Paul had a bit of a feisty response but the end result was they left Macedonia.
The Macedonian jailer and Zacchaeus both had God come to them. Both men had hearts ready to respond and God sought and found them. Neither of them knew they were lost, nor did they realize they were looking and ready to be found. But both responded to God’s opportunity for them and salvation came to their homes.
It seems that the uproar, stripping and severe flogging of Paul & Silas were simply required by the Lord in order to reach the jailer and all in his house. I treasure the picture of the two of them praying and singing hymns at midnight and all the prisoners listening just before the earthquake struck. Paul & Silas never lost sight of the Lord and what they were about!