5 Lessons from the Life of Zacchaeus

First off, let’s do a quick background check on Zacchaeus. He was a tax collector in Jericho and a rich man, and he was seen as a traitor by the people because he was working for the Roman empire. Zacchaeus is best known for climbing the sycamore tree to see Jesus. He knew that Jesus was passing by and he wanted to see him by all means, but his height was an obstacle, so he climbed the sycamore tree to see the Lord.  (Luke 19:1-4)  Oh, what a man! One thing that puzzled me about this tax collector's story was that, despite the fact that he was wealthy, he was not a Christian, and yet he did everything he could to see the Lord. 

There are loads of lessons to be learned from the life of Zacchaeus, but today let’s just take a few. 

1. There is redemption for all souls

First off, he was a tax collector, and in the days of Zaccheaus, it was said that nobody liked the tax collector. Tax collectors were seen as traitors because they were working for the Roman empire and not the community, but still, he heard about Jesus and still wanted to see him. And yes, Jesus gave him an audience and even followed him to his home; this goes to show that no one is beyond saving. No matter your situation, no matter what you have done, the moment you invite God into your life, he will save you.      

2. Always Identify any obstacle standing in the way of you seeing God

Another lesson to learn is that we must identify any hindrance that will not make us meet with the Savior and find a way around it. Zacchaeus was aware that his short stature would make it difficult for him to see Jesus because he would be lost in the crowd, but this did not deter him; instead, he took the next step by climbing the tree to see the Lord, and we can apply this to our daily lives. If there is anything that is standing in our way of fellowship with God, we definitely have to find a way around it; if he hadn’t done that, he probably wouldn’t have met with the Lord that day. Identify your obstacles and do all you can to meet with the Lord.

Read: Biography of Minister Doris Joseph

3. Speak to the Lord and receive his response

The third lesson would be that we should speak to the Lord. Praying to the Lord is very important to us because it is how we communicate with him. Imagine God noticing him and not saying anything tangible; all his efforts would have been futile. Look at Luke 19:8. But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! "Here and now, I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” He stated what he felt according to his own knowledge, and the Lord responded that salvation was coming to his home. The lesson here is to stay in the conversion process with the Lord until you receive a response from Him, and also, do not rely on what you know. Imagine Zacchaeus living his life based on what he said in verse 8; he wouldn't have received the Lord. Talk to the Lord about everything and do not lean on your own understanding.      

4. Don’t Judge anyone, no matter their past

The fourth lesson would be that no matter what has happened in a person's past, do not look down on them or judge them. In verse 7 of Luke 19, people began to murmur that Jesus was going to be the guest of a sinner. Let your focus always be on the Lord; anything else doesn’t matter, and definitely not anything anyone else has done. They muttered words, but that didn’t stop Jesus from meeting him. As the Lord has done, we too should not look down on others with sin, but we should look at them with redemption and bring them to Christ. The Lord said that Salvation was coming to his house because the son of man came to save the lost souls. As christians we should do less judging and more bringing people to the Lord.

5. The Act of giving doesn’t guarantee salvation

The last lesson would be that nothing we do or say will ever replace the gift of salvation. When Zacchaeus met with the Lord, he went on and on about how he gives half of his possessions to the poor and also how he will partake in the act of restitution as he gives back all he has taken from people with an interest, but Jesus then told him that salvation was coming into his house. No matter how much good you have done or are willing to do, it will not replace the act of salvation. There are actually two lessons here, first is what I have explained earlier and the second is that, if an unbeliever had the mentality of giving to the poor, we as christians can also do better because we have Christ in us and that should motivate us in doing more good. 


Always remember that the world is watching our every step; so it’s important that we represent God in the best way we can. From the life of Zacchaeus, there are things to be learned because every story in the Bible has a lesson in it. Here is an unbeliever doing all can to make sure he had an encounter with our Lord. It is important to note that in whatever we do, we must always go above and beyond just to get that encounter with the Lord. I can tell for a fact that his life changed after; no one comes to the Savior and remains the same. (John 12:46)  We used to sing a song in the children's assembly when I was little.”Zacchaeus was a very short man. A very short man was he. He climbed up the sycamore tree to see the Lord. When Jesus was passing by, he looked up and said, "Zacchaeus, come down; I am going to your house today.” I hope I am not the only one who remembers the song.  

Picture Credit: Nelson Vincent Ayomitunde

0/Post a Comment/Comments

Please drop a comment and use the Social Media Buttons below to share to friends and family.