1 Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town.
2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus.
He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich.
3 He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd.
4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.
5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name.
"Zacchaeus!" he said. "Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today."
6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.
7 But the people were displeased.
"He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner," they grumbled.
8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said,
"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!"
9 Jesus responded,
"Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham.
10 For the Son of Man* came to seek and save those who are lost."
Tax collectors were at the bottom of the social world back then.
They were despised because they collaborated with the hated Romans while getting big time rich stealing money from their fellow Jews through taxation.
You didn't have anything to do with them.
Doing something like eating with them would have made you ceremonially unclean.
iow, you couldn't worship in the temple.
Jesus breaks ALL conventional thought by even speaking to Zacchaeus.
And when He went to eat a meal with Zacchaeus, I'm sure the heads of the religious leadered exploded.
But Zacchaeus' life was transformed by Jesus showing him some compassion & attention.
Could part of the truth in this story be that it took very little effort to bring about significant change in Zacchaeus' life.
And is that is true in Zacchaeus' life, maybe it would be true in the lives of people far from a relationship / connection with God.
Maybe we think it's harder than it really is to influence someone to follow Jesus.
All Jesus did was indicate to Zacchaeus that He knew who He was, He connected with Zacchaeus, & He spent time with him.
There was something about that level of attention that changed Zacchaeus' life.
And if Jesus lives inside of us, then shouldn't it follow that the Jesus inside of us could have the same impact on people who haven't decided to follow Jesus?
So, maybe if we simply made the effort to get to know people, connect with them, & spend time with them, they Holy Spirit can work through us & influence them to follow Jesus?