(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 was lost.Luke 19:9-10
Jesus responds to the faith and repentance of Zacchaeus here in a tangible way. He declares that salvation has come to Zacchaeus. His tangible faith in Jesus Christ has made him regenerate. His sins are forgiven.
What does he mean that salvation has come to this household? We know that this does not mean that now his family is automatically saved. What it does mean is that there is someone who is saved in the home. Zacchaeus’s influence as a saved man whose heart is no longer towards sin but is towards Jesus will have an effect on his family.
What does Jesus mean when he says “forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham”? Jesus could mean that even though Zacchaeus was classified a “sinner” he was still a Jew ethnically. He still belonged to that family and was part of the nation to which God had made so many promises.
He could also mean that He was in the same spiritual state as Abraham. What did Paul say about Abraham?
(1) What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? (2) For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. (3) For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.Romans 4:1-3
What was Paul quoting? He was quoting Genesis 15:6 where the scripture says about Abraham:
(6) And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.Genesis 15:6
Abraham was not justified by works. Abraham was justified by faith. God made declared Him as righteous and imputed Christ’s righteousness to Abraham’s account because of Abraham’s faith in God.
Abraham’s faith was justified by his works. He lived a life of faith as demonstrated by His works. His works did not save him, but his works made it clear that his faith was real.
This same thing was true of Zacchaeus, and so the same justification and salvation came to Zacchaeus.
So, which one is it? Was Jesus saying that He was Jewish, or that He was saved like Abraham was? I believe it is both. How is this possible? I believe it is possible because of verse 10.
(10) For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.Luke 19:10
God was not acknowledging that faith in Zacchaeus or Abraham was merit. They were not earning their salvation through their faith. God was declaring them righteous because Jesus came to seek them out like he had done for Zacchaeus. God had sent Jesus to die and rise again so that God could declare them as righteous and treat them that way through faith in Jesus.
Are you in the same spiritual household as Abraham? Have you believed God, and trusted in Christ? Jesus is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Zacchaeus acknowledged his need for a Savior, acknowledged Jesus as Lord, confessed his sin, and repented. His faith was genuine in that his works showed his repentance, and Jesus declared his salvation. It changed his family. Have you done this? Have you acknowledged your sin and need for a Savior? Have you truly repented and put your faith in Christ? He has come to seek and to save that which was lost! Have you put your faith in Jesus?
How should you respond to the Savior today?