Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector who was rich. Luke 19 describes how this little guy Zacchaeus climbed up a tree to see Jesus. He was surprised when this led to a divine encounter with Jesus in his home. Everyone knew Zacchaeus was a sinner. Some knew it through personal experience that he was dishonest and a thief. Many were offended that Jesus would spend time with him in his house.
By God's love and grace this led to transformed heart. This was illustrated by what Zacchaeus did after the encounter.
Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham;
What is truly remarkable here is to realize what just happened. Zacchaeus did DOUBLE what the Law required. Exodus 22:7 required a thief to restore double. But in this case he did twice as much as what the Law required? Instead of just returning double he restored four times as much. Why? Here is what I have learned.
There are some who teach that when Jesus brought us the new covenant that everything in the Old Covenant was tossed out. I disagree. Jesus said that He did not come to do away with the Law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). In this case grace, God's enabling power, which works through faith and love goes well beyond the Law. It flowed through a heart transformed by an encounter with the living God.
The two greatest commands are to love God with all your heart, soul and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself. These two commands sum up the Law and the Prophets. Zacchaeus did not do what He did because of the Law! He did what He did because of what Christ did for Him. True repentance led to a transformed life who ..... no doubt..... transformed other peoples lives when they received so much more than what the Law required. Talk about restitution!
The Law is not bad. It is a school master. It helps us understand God's standards. We cannot keep that on our own. But faith, working through love empowered by God's grace can. In fact, He is able to do abundantly more than we ask or think.