“’Today salvation has come to this house,’ Jesus told him, ‘because he too is a son of Abraham.’” (Luke 19:9)
The story is about Zacchaeus, up until then a mean-spirited, conniving traitor, hated by all except other tax collectors. This is the man Jesus called down from his sycamore tree perch, so He could go to his home and eat with him. That encounter with Jesus changed Zacchaeus. He did “a 180” with his life, and Jesus pronounced him “saved” and “a son of Abraham.”
Interesting. Zacchaeus already was “a son of Abraham.” He was a blood descendant of Abraham. Not a very good one, but still a son. So, why did Jesus say, “He too is a son of Abraham”? What constitutes being a son of Abraham. Clearly, in Jesus’ thinking it was not just a matter of genetics.
A son of Abraham is anyone whose heart and whose life direction is changed by an encounter with the Lord and His truth, leading them into faith and a faith-based relationship with the Lord. This “change” is not simply a feel good thing, but is rather an action demonstrated thing. Certainly there is a feel good aspect to this change through the forgiveness of sins, but the real change is in the way we live. As Jesus said earlier to Nicodemus, it’s like being born all over again – total newness of life.
So, God’s expectation is thus that we will live out this change in ways that reflect what has happened in our hearts. For each of us, may this day be one in which the ways we live will demonstrate to others the power of God to change a life.
Lord, Truly may this day reveal to others, as part of our witness to them, the changes You have wrought in our hearts and lives. Amen.