Jesus forgave those who were unforgivable. Zacchaeus was a wealthy tax collector. He did as was customary at the time and took more than he should have, and Jesus forgave him. Zacchaeus repented, promising to give half his possessions to the poor and repay those he cheated four times what he owed them. Jesus said "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." For Zacchaeus, the cost of Jesus' forgiveness was losing everything. But in that loss, he gained everything. Through Jesus Christ, Zacchaeus was saved.
The hymn "Amazing Grace" was published in 1779 by John Newton. It is an expression of John Newton's own experience of conversion from sin through God's grace. The text of the song is often set to the tune "New Britain," which is a folk song similar to other Appalachian tunes from the southern United States.
The lyrics to Amazing Grace are,
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
When we've been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun
Consider the story of Zacchaeus and the text of this song, and listen to this contemporary rendition of the traditional song,
Sources: hymnary.org, Zacchaeus in the Sycamore Tree by James Tissot from SuperStock / Getty Images, Luke 19:1-10
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Milford, CT 06460
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