I believe that this story carries a deeper meaning than what we might first see. There is more to the story of Jesus changing people’s opinion of this Roman tax collector, Zacchaeus. He was able to see beyond his job, and saw that Zacchaeus was in need of spiritual help. Jesus called Zacchaeus by his first name, showing that the respect and personal value he sees in the man that the people from the town of Jericho considered a sinner. Jesus’ grace and undeserved compassion towards Zacchaeus is unique, because I think that us humans do not think that kindness should be freely given. This act of kindness from Christ shows his humanity, and how humanity towards others creates a ripple effect.
Before Zacchaeus’ encounter with Jesus, he exploited people and was selfish. After his encounter and transformation, he returned the next day with an improved attitude. He showed grace towards others, and wanted to fix his mistakes of exploitation. He gave four times the amount owed to those he had stolen from. The law at the time, only required people to pay back twice of what was owed. This story, like all the others that are collated in the New Testament, show the effects of grace, and how undeserved kindness will only create a more united and happy society. I truly believe that the themes that lie within these types of biblical stories are timeless, and that lessons can be constantly learnt from Jesus and his actions. This story of Jesus and Zacchaeus is representative of how the forgiveness of sins, will only uplift a persons spirt, but also contribute positively to a community. It should be noted that Jesus did not plan to influence Zacchaeus, but he felt that he was morally obliged to help others. This is something that I think we as a global community must strive to do better. Especially those in positions of power, we need to help those that we can. Personally, from this story, I have been able to take away life lessons of kindness and grace, to live a more for filling life and to contribute to the world.
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