Conversion of the Heart

Eyewitness: pp. 184
Eyewitness Stories: Luke 19:1-10
New Living Translation: Luke 19: 1-10
In Your Bible: Luke 19:1-10

Jesus’ encounter with the wee little man, Zacchaeus, was extraordinary. He heard that Jesus welcomed tax collectors and sinners. * So he risked a chance to see Jesus as he walked through Jericho, on the road to Jerusalem. Truly, Zacchaeus had a conversion of the heart.

Up a Tree

We know Zacchaeus was so short, he needed to climb a sycamore-fig tree in order to see Jesus. He’d probably never seen him before. ** When Jesus saw him, he knew who Zacchaeus was and what he did. Jesus said, Zacchaeus, hurry down from there, for I must be a guest at your house today” (Eyewitness Luke 19:5b). One commentator says ** that Jesus even stayed overnight! Strange indeed. Outraged, the crowd grumbled because they knew Zacchaeus was a sinner.


We know little of what happened at his home, but Zacchaeus, the despised man, found a friend in Jesus. Merely meeting Jesus and talking with him changed Zacchaeus’ heart. Later Zacchaeus stood before Jesus. “Sir, I will give half my wealth to the poor. If I have defrauded anyone, I will pay back four times the amount” (Luke 19:8 Eyewitness Stories). This was beyond what the law required (see Lev 6:5 and Num 5:7).

Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost” (Luke 19:9,10 NLT). On commentator * says, in the New Testament “lost” means a man who has wondered away from God (not damned or doomed). Zacchaeus truly had a conversion of the heart.

Prayer: Father, thank you for seeing my heart, knowing my feelings, and being a comforter of my soul. I need you. Selah.

Questions: What first comes to your mind when you recall the song starting with the phrase, Zacchaeus was a wee little man? This encounter seems to be one of the few stating Jesus stayed overnight in a person’s home? How does this add to the striking conversion Zacchaeus had? When was the first time Jesus had an impact on your heart?

* The Gospel of Luke, Daily Study Bible, William Barclay, The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1956, p 244, 245.

** Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown, Luke 19:1-10,

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