Luke 19:8-9 – And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” ESV
Zacchaeus was a short man with a big bank account. Most of this came from his tax collecting activities where he was the conduit between the regular tax collectors and the governing authorities, and he skimmed off the top, or took a personal commission. This meant that he was a thief, a thief with a high legal position. In the story (Lk 19:1-10) we see some important truths.
First, Zacchaeus was very keen to see Jesus; he had to climb up a tree. To put that in perspective, it would be like a high level IRS agent, a high paid bureaucrat, used to getting his way, having to demean himself. Second, that Jesus saw him up the tree, and recognized that Zacchaeus was ready to repent. Third, when all the regular folk saw that Jesus was going to the home of Zacchaeus they condemned Him. Fourth, Zacchaeus, as a result of his encounter with Jesus, was able to shift from a desire to repent through to a choice to make amends.
The fifth and last point has a large significance for us in Christian recovery. As a result of this choice to make amends Jesus indicates that salvation came to the entire household of Zacchaeus. While Jesus was undoubtedly stating the household of Zacchaeus was saved, as in born again, our application is different. For a Christ follower who takes the path of repentance and amends the salvation is in the form of sanctification, or a cleaning up of our internal darker places.