Most only know that Zacchaeus was a “wee little man” who climbed a tree to see Jesus as He passed by, but this account is about great grace given because of this chief tax collector’s realization of his great wickedness and his reaction of great repentance.
I. Luke 19:1-10. Though short in height, Zacchaeus had risen in earthly stature through ill-gotten gain. So, he naturally believed the way to see this great teacher that some perhaps were secretly murmuring was the Messiah was to climb a tree. When he saw the true riches that Jesus offered, he realized that the way up with God was to fall to His knees and he repented (Ezekiel 18:21-24).
II. Luke 19:11-26. The parable that Jesus tells next challenges us to examine our relationship with Him. How we act with God’s blessings and gifts He’s entrusted to us reveals our true motivation. We don’t want to be found as the wicked servant who hid what he was given lest it be taken away and given to those who are using their talents for God and His Kingdom.
III. Matthew 6:19-21. Where we store our treasure reveals where our heart truly is–whether in heaven or on earth. Storing treasure in heaven is hard work and requires spiritual training (Hebrews 12:7-11). It means giving to others how we want to receive from God (Luke 6:37-38) and a conscious understanding of what we are sowing to know what we will reap (Galatians 6:7-10).
Squirrels are often busy, well … squirreling away their treasure of acorns for the winter, but this is a selfish model of what we shouldn’t do. They won’t share what they’ve been given with other squirrels in other trees. This is how Zacchaeus was before he climbed down from the tree and hosted Jesus in his home. What great grace could be yours with your great repentance?