In Luke 19:1-10 we read the story of Zacchaeus which ends like so:
And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold."
And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."
(Luke 19:8-10 ESV)
Clearly Jesus announces that salvation has come to the man's home. Less clear (to me anyway) is the why. I can see several possible interpretations of the text:
- Salvation came to Zacchaeus because he was generous in giving away his money and paying back those he had wronged. (I get this from the flow of the text, Jesus responding to Zacchaeus.)
- Salvation came to Zacchaeus because by turning from his tax collecting, he turned from Rome and was reconciled back to the Jewish community. ("He also is a son of Abraham.")
- Salvation came to Zacchaeus because Jesus had called him down from the tree and gone with him to his house. ("The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.")
Which of these (if any or many) is to be preferred? And why?