(Photo by Sarah Komisky)
The God of Second Chances
By Ashley Scriven
Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he. He climbed up in the Sycamore tree for the Lord He wanted to see. And as our Savior passed that way, He looked up in the tree. And He said, “Zacchaeus, you come down! For I’m going to your house today.”
If you grew up going to Sunday School, you’ve probably sung this song many times. In fact, it’s probably going to get stuck in your head for the rest of today. Sorry about that. If you don’t know it, I’m sure it’s on Youtube.
There’s a reason this song is taught to little children and it’s not because of the catchy tune. This song illustrates the loving, forgiving nature of Our Lord and Savior. We catch a glimpse of our God who is a God of second chances.
First of all, who was Zacchaeus? His story is found in the Book of Luke, chapter 9. The song was right in one aspect, he was short. According to Luke, “he was small in stature.” Zacchaeus was also a chief tax collector. Tax collectors were hated by the ordinary people of Jerusalem because they often overcharged the people and kept the money for themselves. Zacchaeus was in charge of these thieves and liars. He had stolen more money from his neighbors than most tax collectors.
Jesus knew all about Zacchaeus’ sins. Nobody had to tell him, even though all the people knew. Jesus knew exactly what kind of person Zacchaeus was. However, Jesus did not condemn Zacchaeus. When He saw him in the tree, He told him to come down because Jesus was going to visit his home. Imagine the reaction of the crowd when they heard those words. Was Jesus serious? Was He actually going to spend time with such a notorious sinner? Jesus was indeed sincere. He loved Zacchaeus despite what he had done.
Zacchaeus responded to the love of Christ in a phenomenal way. He repented of his sins right there and then in front of everyone and declared that he was going to start over. Jesus was calling and Zacchaeus knew he had to make a change. He was given a second chance and he took it.
Maybe you can relate. Perhaps you have committed many sins and you feel as if you are among the worst of sinners. Remember that you are similar to Zacchaeus in another, very important way. Jesus is wanting to visit your home, your heart today also. He is giving you a chance to repent and start over. He is willing to give you a second chance.
It is never too turn back to the God who loves you so intensely that He would sacrifice His only Son. However, with the New Year coming up, you have a perfect chance for a fresh start. Maybe it’s not even that you’ve committed some grave sins. Perhaps you feel guilty because it’s been weeks since you’ve prayed or picked up a Bible. Perhaps you’ve been giving into some “minor” temptations. Whatever it is, nothing is too big or too small for our God to forgive. Open your heart and let Him in.