v 9. Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham.
Here is another part of the Bible that we love to pass on to children – but the message is certainly not childish! We smile to think of this probably rather pompous little man hitching up his cloak and climbing up the tree – and he was expecting to remain invisible too! And then we miss the sincerity of his repentance as Jesus steps into his life. What depth of repentance there must have been ! He had collaborated with the Roman authorities by collecting taxes for them and, to make matters worse, he had swindled his fellow Jews by taking more to line his own pocket. So he says “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” (v 8)
Repentance like this is costly and Jesus responds by saying words of huge comfort to a renegade Jew – for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. ‘ Zacchaeus – in spite of what you have done you have been forgiven and are still a member of the family of God.’
You see, when we mourn over our sin and are repentant it means trying to put those wrong things right as far as it might be possible. And God puts right our relationship with Him as an act of mercy and grace.