Most people are familiar with the story of Zacchaeus. This small man was a tax collector, a public sinner and traitor to his own people. When Jesus came to town he scandalised everyone by choosing to have dinner at this man’s house. The next thing we know Zacchaeus has decided to give most of his wealth to the poor and pay back anyone he had cheated. The interesting thing to notice is what Jesus does not say. He doesn’t tell Zacchaeus to repent. We often assume that this was part of the dinner conversation, but there is nothing in the text to say that happened.
What we do see is that Zacchaeus becomes a changed man simply by being loved. The compassion and acceptance of God is enough to make him change. It is as though the love of God gives him the strength to become something different.
The challenge for us to to be able to receive the love of Jesus in the same way that Zacchaeus did. Instead of focusing what you should be doing, just focus on the fact that Jesus loves you and accepts you as you are. This will give you the strength to then become something different.