Steps to Salvation
Zacchaeus was a short man, he climb on top of the sycamore tree to see Jesus. Jesus told him to come down and Zacchaeus' life changed. This amazing faith of Zacchaeus is recorded. This sounds like a fairytale, yet it gives us a very important spiritual message.
- First Step: Longing to be Healed
Zacchaeus was short and everyone else was tall, so he could not see Jesus. But Zacchaeus really wanted to see Jesus, yet he was too short. So Zacchaeus went up the tree and saw Jesus. We have to see the heart of Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus has the heart to see Jesus yet he couldn't; physically he is too short and his social status does not allow him to get near. So it was hard for Zacchaeus to get near Jesus.
The importance here is that our desire to see Jesus must be greater than food. Don't we have the heart of have faith like a habit? Do we have the heart wanting to see Jesus? This heart is in Zacchaeus, and he touched the heart of Jesus. In faith and salvation, this desire and longing is most important; this is the first step.
For a sick person, they think with 2 sides. One is that they will get better, yet they also think that they would die. Yet for him to get better he must have true hope and long for it.
We can listen to this message and think we are not sick. Yet although we are physically healthy, spiritually we are lacking. We have the hope to be healed of our spiritual diseases whether it is uncontrolled anxiety, emptiness, anger, or envy. We have to check in ourselves if we have that hope to get better.
- Second Step: Be humble and listen
To Zacchaeus who was on the tree, Jesus said come down. So what is the second step? It is to come down. Jesus said come down and meets. We should not just see Jesus, but we should meet him; we should not stop at seeing. So this meeting is important; we cannot always remain on the sycamore tree. How do we come down? It is through the Word. Through the Word we come to meet Jesus. We should not just look at Jesus with our own eyes and methods. For us to truly understand Jesus, it is by hearing his words that we come to recognize.
In another words, the second step is to be the one that listens, and then you will hear God. The Bible said that faith comes from hearing the word. What do you hear? You hear the word of Christ. This means that we should have a humble attitude when you listen to the gospel.
- Third Step: Receive the Lord in our hearts
Jesus then said to Zacchaeus that he is going to stay at his house. The third step is receiving. We should not stop at listening, but come to receive Jesus. I Corinthians 3:16 says that we are the temple of God. The ultimate wish of God is to dwell in us. We should not just stop at the faith of listening to the gospel, but live with Jesus within us.
- Fourth Step: Changing our lives
Lastly Zacchaeus told Jesus that he would give half his possessions to others and give four times as much to the ones he cheated. His life changed at this point. Jesus lived the life of serving and gave everything and Zacchaeus saw this and told himself that he wants to do the same.
The last step is to change our lives. We should repent from the past life and convert to the life of Jesus. Being wholly devoted in faith, we should proceed onward until this last act.
Zacchaeus, although he is a tax collector, he was saved. His action touched Jesus and Jesus said that today salvation had come to this house. When we live this kind of life, it is then we can become the true believers of God. We should examine ourselves constantly and change the method in which we carry our lives. We shouldn't just stop at the faith of listening to the gospel and touch by the grace. Jesus said, “Follow me.”
When Jesus evangelizes, he uses two sentences often: “come and see” and “follow me.” He is instructing us to follow his life; this is true salvation. When we accomplish this, it is then we can become the true sons of God.
© Apostolos Campus Ministry