Jesus’ teaching on purity and impurity were a shock and an outrage to the religious leaders and a source of confusion for the crowds and the disciples. After years of emphasis on the external traditions of ritual washings meant to guide God’s people in how to live out the holiness, the traditions had taken the place of Scripture and at some points, actually contradicting the commands of God. Jesus therefore brings the people back to the heart of the issue, that purity and impurity are determined by what is going on in the heart rather than by anything external.
Zacchaeus was a wee little man…a man whose life was transformed through his encounter with Jesus. As his story comes to a close, Jesus makes the declaration that He has come to seek and to save that which is lost – those who are like Zacchaeus was. Now, He desires to accomplish this through His followers and when He does it is one of the most joyous occasions in our lives.