Summary: God can change any man who is willing to change. By placing his trust in Jesus Christ.
God can change you
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.
Another translation says, “Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.”
Another says, “So there is a new creation when any man is in Christ. The old life has passed away, behold, the new is come.”
Now please go with me to St. Luke 19:1-10
1 ¶ And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.
6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which
Here we have the familiar story of a sinner seeking for Jesus.
He was a Chief among the publicans who presided over other tax-gatherers, or who received their collections and transmitted them to the Roman government.
The Jews hated these dreaded tax-collectors. For they were often times guilty of extortion, overcharging the people, making huge profits for themselves and general misuse of authority.
The Jews regarded all Publicans as great sinners, and the chief of the publicans, therefore, they regarded as especially wicked. It would appear also from Zaccheus’ confession that his character had been that of an oppressive man.
Verse three says that he sought to see Jesus who he was.
No doubt he saw the great crowd and heard the commotion as Jesus was entering the city of Jericho. So he was just curious.
What’s all the commotion about going on in the street?
Zaccheus wanted to see what the center of attention wasn’t able to do so because of the multitude of people blocking his view.
So what does he do? He climbs up a sycamore tree so he could get a better view.
Lo and behold Jesus walked by and saw him perched in the tree. He said, “Zaccheus come down from there, for I’m going to your house.”
What a strange mixture of passions must Zaccheus have now felt, hearing one speak, as knowing both his name and his heart!
The chief publican climbed from the tree and started confessing.
“Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.”
Jesus said, “This day is salvation come to this house.”
Ole Zaccheus’ life was changed that day!
His attitude was changed! His disposition was changed! His temperament was changed! His character was changed! His responsibility to others was changed! And more than anything, his heart was changed!
Ole Zaccheus was never the same after he met Jesus! He was a changed man.
He was a new creature in Christ Jesus. His old pattern of behavior had passed away. The old established custom he had over the years was gone instantly!
I think of another individual whose life was changed.
We don’t even know her name. She was just called a woman of Samaria.
But her life was empty and meaningless. She had suffered through five broken marriages and wasn’t married to the man she was now living with.
She must have been the talk of the town. No doubt people whispered and pointed their fingers at her as she walked by.
She had probably resigned herself to a life of hopelessness and shame.
That is until she went to the well to draw water that day.
I can only imagine how she felt as the carried her water buckets to the well.
Another tiresome day! Another day of hopelessness! Another day of loneliness! Another day of emptiness and worthlessness!