But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” Luke 19:8
Economics is about incentives.
Companies or persons hand their resources if in return they get incentives or benefits above what they gave.
Knowing that this guy Zacchaeus is the chief tax collector, accounting or economics are his daily life. He looks for financial benefits in every transaction. His eyes scans the numbers and says if it’s a deal or not.
Look at his economics.
Before meeting Jesus:
Net Worth = Z (this is his total worth, assets minus liabilities)
Moments after meeting Jesus:
Net Worth = Z – 0.5*Z = 0.5Z (this is his total worth after giving half to the poor)
Further moments after meeting Jesus:
Zacchaeus threw what he learned all his life about economic benefits out of his window. His financial worth decreased moment after moment after meeting the Christ. Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house…” (Luke 19:9) and Zacchaeus, by his economics, replied, “It’s a deal!”.
We don’t know if he came back to his job as the chief tax collector, I bet he resigned! We don’t know if he became a full time follower of Jesus, just like the Twelve, I bet he did in his own small ways! This is what we surely know – his life turned around and he realized it’s not about the money. That life is not about these financial benefits thus he was willing to give almost all he got.
Jesus saved him. And that is an enough incentive.