The beautiful thing about God’s kingdom is that all those who welcome Jesus as their Lord are given the opportunity to accept a new identity through him. This is illustrated poignantly through the story of a crooked tax collector named Zacchaeus. Tax collectors were among the most despised people in Israel because they chose to work for Rome and were making themselves rich by gouging their fellow Jews. But Zaccheaus shows that even the lost can be adopted and made new.
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.” (Luke 19:1-9)
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12)
I believe I am significant because of my position as a child of God.
KEY APPLICATION: What difference does this make in the way I live?
- Because of our new identity in Christ, we are free from condemnation. (Romans 8:1)
- Because of our new identity in Christ, our worth comes from our position in Christ, not our performance. (Matthew 11:28)
- Because of our new identity in Christ, we live to express who we are in Christ, not to prove who we are.
- Because of our new identity in Christ, we can focus on building others up, not tearing them down.
Taken from NIV Believe