Zacchaeus’s encounter with Jesus, over a fellowship meal, shed light on his life as never before. He realised the graciousness of Jesus to come to his home, and he repented from his egocentric search for identity, security, and prosperity, apart from the loving God who created him. Didn’t Jesus teach all who followed him, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:33)? This was the first stage of Zacchaeus’ walk with Christ and fellow people.
In order to continue to grow, all of us must go through a period or periods of transformation. Such transformation occurs when the light of God’s Word dawns upon us and the Spirit of God whispers with a still small voice. Our faith journey, remember, is an open-ended adventure with the God of holy love. We are on holy ground in conversation with God as we joyously walk in step with the Spirit.
Each stage of our journey requires metanoia; a turn around or change of our minds. The pattern of transformation involves at least some measure of suffering. Some part of us has to die if we are ever to grow in grace, Jesus said, “Truly, truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24). There is probably someone we need to forgive and reconcile with or someone with whom we can share the story of God’s love in Jesus. We can be certain that our heavenly Father will bring discipline into our lives to make us more fruitful; it is necessary for growth to take place.
Jesus told the multitude of crowds and religious leaders, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). There is a deep relationship between truth and life. Zacchaeus had met Jesus, and the truth set him free on journey of abundant life with Jesus.