Zacchaeus…said to the Lord, “…Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor. Luke 19:8 NIV
It’s easy to judge people by how they look or the jobs they have. Zacchaeus, the tax collector, was defined by his job, and yet as soon as he met Jesus his heart responded to him and to prove his attitude had changed, he said he would give half of his possessions to the poor and four times to anyone whom he had defrauded. I wonder how long Zacchaeus’ conscience had been bothering him. He must have felt so liberated when he confessed his dishonesty and chose to follow Jesus. Jesus not only spoke to Zacchaeus but said they must have a meal together . He publicly acknowledged their new relationship.
A changed heart will result in changed actions. If the actions don’t change, I have to question whether there has been any change of heart. Words are easy and easily deceitful, but actions are a little harder to fake especially if they include sacrifice. Some people want to be seen as “good” people and follow a kind of religious morality but Jesus wants to be welcomed whole-heartedly and then a new relationship is formed.