Every celebrity has fans that follow them. Fans know a great deal about each celebrity's public life of but the celebrity knows not many of their fans. It is impossible for a celebrity to know all of their fans especially when there are in large numbers and they live all over the place. Fans often follow their star's movements and would love to have a personal encounter to them. In cases of huge crowds some even climb to somewhere high to have a glimpse of them from afar.
Zacchaeus is an unknown fan of Jesus who would love to have a personal encounter with Jesus but he probably was afraid to meet Jesus face to face for fear that his way of life would be exposed to public- a dishonest tax collector. Zachaeus had found an unusual way, a childlike behaviour, of catching the sight of Jesus from afar. He quietly went ahead of Jesus and climbed a tree expecting to see Jesus without anyone noticing his intension. Things happened not quiet as he had planned. Jesus stopped at a tree where he was in and called him by name- Zachaeus, come down. Jesus knew not just that he was in a tree but even knew him by name. Hearing people discuss all the good things about Jesus would make Zacchaeus curious of Jesus and he would love to know more about Jesus. His meeting with Jesus had changed his life forever. It was not what he heard about Jesus but it was the love Jesus showed that made his hear changed.
Zacchaues' quiet admiration of Jesus became a public event because he was a public figure, a tax collector who became a believer. It was a big surprise for both Zacchaeus and the huge crowds when Jesus said to Zacchaeus that he would dine at his place that evening and he was overjoyed to welcome Jesus to his home. Straight after the encounter with Jesus, Zacchaeus put his faith in action when he publicly announced of his future plan. First he was going to give half of his property to the poor- act of charity. Second if he'd cheated anyone he would repay four times over. The saying would have different interpretations. Would he recall the mistakes he'd made and repaid them four times over or would it mean from the moments of conversion of the heart, from now on, he would repay four times over. Whatever it is we know for sure that he tried his best to be an honest person and a true follower of Jesus. The other truth was that Zacchaeus was the head of a household and when he became the follower of Jesus his whole house was to follow suits, including servants and maids of the house. To confer God's grace on his family Jesus said
'Today salvation has come to this house, because this man too is a son of Abraham, for the Son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost' Lk 19,10
His openness to the truth makes him ready to start a new life, a life of being kind and nice to others. Every household needs to encourage other members to be kind and make God's love real in our lives and in the lives of others.