Luke 19: Zacchaeus was a chief tax-collector at Jericho, known primarily for his faith in climbing a sycamore tree to see Jesus, and also his generosity in giving half of all he possessed.
The very system Zacchaeus worked under encouraged corruption. He must have fit in well because he made himself wealthy from it. He cheated his fellow citizens, taking advantage of their powerlessness.
A descendant of Abraham, he was an example of Jesus’s personal, earthly mission to bring salvation to the lost. Jesus went to dinner with Zacchaeus. He didn’t berate him; He didn’t tell him everything he was doing wrong. Jesus simply Loved him; He showed him mercy. He became his friend. That day was a turning point. Zacchaeus said, “I’m going to quit cheating people. I’m going to quit being dishonest and I’m going to start helping others.” Zacchaeus changed his ways, not because he was shamed into it, but because he was Loved into it. The scripture says, “It’s the goodness of God that leads to repentance.”