"And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying. That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner." People still murmur about the mixing of saints and sinners, about Christians compromising with this world, about hypocrites in the church. To the crowd that day, Zacchaeus was still a sinner. They doubted that his character was changed just because he had received Jesus. Doubting Zacchaeus, they murmured against Jesus.
It is sadly true that not every person who professes to be a Christian really is one. Besides, too, many genuine Christians live such inconsistent lives that others have reason to doubt their salvation, and so there is murmuring against Christ.
"And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold." God does not require every Christian to give half his goods to the poor or to restore ill gotten gains fourfold as evidence of salvation, but surely every Christian ought to produce some reasonable evidence of the faith professed. The tree is known by Its fruit.
No doubt Zacchaeus could have complained that people were unfair to doubt his salvation, to consider him still a lost shiner. But the best answer to unjust criticism is simply to live the life of Christ. "For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men." (I Peter 2:15.)
"And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham." No matter now what men may say: Jesus has certified the fact of salvation, and it is His word that will stand forever. "They which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham." (Galatians 3:7.) It was in this sense that Jesus declared Zacchaeus to be a son of Abraham, and that is assurance enough for anybody,
"For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." That was and still is His mission, and through faith in Him any sinner can become a son of Abraham, as did Zacchaeus.
[From AAB, March 19, 1971, pp. 1, 3. - jrd]
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