Luke 19:8 – But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
Zacchaeus was a shrewd man. He had gained wealth by dishonest tax collecting. Basically, He made a living off of cheating people. Because of this he did not have any friends. Most people who knew who he was didn't like him.
As Jesus came into town all the people went to see Him and just like all of them Zacchaeus also wanted to see this man. Some went out of curiosity; some went because they had seen Jesus before. It wasn't long before a large crowd had formed.
Now Zacchaeus was no different than all of the others, but he was alone. He had burnt so many bridges that no one would help him or let him through to see Jesus. And to top it all off he was short and could not see over the crowd. But Zacchaeus had an idea.
Based on the route Jesus was taking through town, there was a tree that he could climb. This tree should give him a good vantage point where he could see Jesus. As the crowd approached, Zacchaeus discovered that he was right. He could see Jesus just fine, but then an amazing thing happened: Jesus walked right up to him and talked to him.
Jesus told Zacchaeus that they would eat lunch together that day. So we see them go to the tax collectors house to eat lunch. About half way through the meal conviction came upon Zacchaeus and he stood to his feet and made this statement.
Jesus never told him that he was a sinner or that he needed to pay back the money he had stolen. All Jesus did was Love this little man. That’s all it takes.
You don’t have to point out people’s sin. They already know it is there. All you have to do is Love them in spite of their sin. When we do this it softens their heart. You act in Love and allow the Spirit to correct and rebuke when needed.