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Luke 19:8 – Zaccheus vs. the rich young man

05-11-2019 - Posted by Andre Piet

Now standing, Zaccheus said to the Lord, “Lo! The half of my possessions Lord, I am giving to the poor! And if from anyone I get anything by blackmail, I am giving back fourfold.”

Zaccheus had the day of his life. His environment knew him as a sinful man. And Zacchaeus knew this was right. But precisely in his house, Jesus wanted to stay that day. And what an effect that had! Without being asked anything of him, he gives away half of his possessions to the poor and he also compensates four times what he had extorted.

A chapter earlier (Luke 18: 18-23) we read of a rich young man who thought he had fulfilled the whole law. But Jesus pierced his self-righteousness and showed him that he was falling short. And the young man left sorrow-stricken. In this rich young man we see what the law does: she demands but even the best falls short. Disappointment is the inevitable consequence.

In Zacchaeus we see what grace does: it does not ask but gives. For free. And Zacchaeus gladly shared his wealth. What the law could not do with the rich young man, grace did accomplish with Zacchaeus!