Luke 19:8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
You are probably familiar with the story of Zacchaeus, a short man that climbed a tree to get a glimpse of Jesus as He passed by.
Jesus stopped and invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ house for a visit.
Moved by the offer, Zacchaeus gives us today’s scripture.
This same scripture is misused today as Biblical proof of reparation, which is the making of amends for a wrong one has done, by paying money to or otherwise helping those who have been wronged.
There is nothing wrong with reparation when you have wronged someone.
Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector and it was common to overtax individuals to insure a little “extra” for yourself after giving the Romans their tax demand.
Zacchaeus actually did two things.
First, he demonstrated an act of charity by giving half his wealth to the poor.
Second, he returned, with interest, any part of the “extra” he took for himself.
His act was directed toward those whose lives he personally affected.
He did not make reparations for things his grandfather did.
He did not make reparations for the dead.
He did not make amends for anything done a century before.
Nor was this forced on him by a group or government.
It was his choice when salvation came into his life.
You, too, can make reparation.
Mine came in the form of apologizing to some others for things I did to them in the past – my past.
There was forgiveness all around.