You notice that Zacchaeus is so overjoyed that he commits Himself to teshuva on the spot.
What is teshuva? Teshuva is complete repentance, real repentance. Not just saying you’re sorry, but turning FROM your sin and turning TO the Father. It’s a literal 180. Zacchaeus proves his sincerity by voluntarily making amends for his sin, offering FOUR fold whatever he had taken from anyone. This shows his knowledge of the Father’s laws because in Leviticus 6:1-5 and Numbers 5:5-7 we see that voluntary restitution for fraud is the amount taken plus 20%. In 2 Samuel 12:6 we see that anyone who steals and shows no remorse is required to payback what they stole four fold.
Not only does Zacchaeus practice full teshuva but he also voluntarily offers the full amount required of him in order to make amends for his sin. He knew exactly what was required of Him and volunteered to do it. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had such immediate knowledge of God’s Word? We are getting there!
So what happens next?
Messiah says today salvation has come to this house!
What an amazing thing to hear our Messiah say! But what He said gets even better when we look at the actual words He used.
So the word for Salvation in Hebrew is yeshu’ah and if you recall, the angel told Messiah’s parents to name Him Yeshua for He will save us. Yeshua means salvation.
So He just said “Behold, Yeshua has come to this house today!” Using His own name to symbolize both the salvation and His presence in this man’s life. How cool is that?
We go on to read of Messiah admonishing the people in various areas for not expecting Him, not being prepared for Him, and not recognizing Him. Again, a lot of this is due to either their own comfort (which causes them to loosen their faith more and more as they slowly replace obedience to YHWH with self interest) and the fact that they had a set of preconceived notions about what Messiah would do upon His return – expectations that He was not living up to- so they dismissed Him. They paid more heed to the doctrine they held dear which was very loosely centered or somewhat connected to the Word than the actual Word of YHWH itself.
When He rebukes the Pharisees in Luke 20:17-18, we see in Luke 20:19 that they knew full well He was referring to them. Messiah was bold, Messiah defied cultural expectation. Messiah, like our Father, could not be contained in any box they tried to put Him into. He full demonstrated the Father’s Word in flesh form! But rather than open their eyes and hearts and minds to allow the filling up of the Father’s Word, they closed ranks, tightened circles, shut their eyes and ears.
FATHER PLEASE DO NOT LET US REPEAT THIS MISTAKE!
We go on to see in Luke 20:20 that they sent spies and people pretending to be sincere in order to trap Messiah. I’ve pointed this out before but we need to keep it at the forefront of our minds so that we understand the motives and what Messiah was up against. Also, keep in mind that these were the respected religious scholars of their time.
We are issued further warning in Luke 20:45-47 and I challenge you to read this passage and consider who the modern equivalent of these scribes and pharisees are in our time and culture.
In closing, I want to share my heart a bit. This word we are reading is so precious to us. Each word, verse, chapter, book, contains eternal wisdom which is wholly applicable and desperately needed by each of us today. Sometimes, I will read my notes a day or two after I wrote them and realize I failed to mention a key verse or failed to point out an important concept or pattern of YHWH and it grieves me.
But then I remember:
My job is not to illuminate every word of YHWH. His words are already illuminated. They come out of His mouth that way. We should be on the edge of our seats clinging to every syllable.
My job and my hope is to instill in you the confidence that you were meant to read YHWH’s Word, it was written FOR you to read, and you are smart enough to understand it – especially considering that YHWH’s own Spirit is your personal teacher! I also hope to help you develop a habit of daily Bible reading because in doing that, you are developing a daily relationship with the Father. I can think of no greater weapon, no greater advantage in this world than having a daily relationship with the Creator of all.
Beyond that, I have tried to show you how to dig deeper, how to see our readings, not just as words on a page but as the living history our spiritual ancestry. And lastly, I hope that I have helped you to see that you have always been a part of this story.
Whether you be from a tribe of Israel or a sojourner like myself, when Abraham looked up at those stars, one of them symbolized you.
So I won’t touch on every single verse in my notes and that is okay. We’re not studying my notes, we’re studying the Bible. To use a food analogy (because, have you met me?): YHWH’s word is the biscuit, Messiah is the gravy, and I am just sprinkling a few grains of salt on top of it all to help bring out the flavor for anyone who might need a little help with that first bite.
The Bible is our first source, never secondary. This precious Bible is our textbook, our workbook, our study guide, and often our journal. Seek Him first in all things, step daily under the shelter of His wings, and don’t forget to stay there.
This world is getting crazier by the minute and the posture of a believer should be:
eyes on Him.
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!