Constitution for Restitution


Image by CCXpistiavos / Pixabay. Used with Permission.

Luke 19:8 (KJV) “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.”

COMMENTARY: The word “constitution” means total moral or mental makeup. The word “restitution” means “a giving of something as an equivalent for what has been lost or damaged.”

If you read the context of this passage, it is clear that Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector in Jericho, had blatantly and consistently taken advantage of his powerful position to overtax people through intimidation and manipulation, in order to accumulate personal wealth. After his personal encounter with Jesus, the Holy Spirit instantly convicted him of his wrongdoing. Zacchaeus had an immediate “constitution for restitution.” We now see a new, soft-hearted man who eagerly seeks to repair the damage that he has caused.

APPLICATION: In today’s Christian business community, some Christian businesspeople seem to think that, because they are saved and forgiven of their sins, they should not have to be held accountable for past abuses. After all, looking back on past behavior, seeing the harm they have brought to others, and seeking to repair the damage, takes humility, courage and integrity.

Today, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal situations in which you need to make restitution. Forget the legal technicalities. What is right is right in God’s sight. As He reveals people and events to you, be quick to make amends like Zacchaeus did. You will be astounded by the Godly impact!  If you have been wronged by a fellow believer, remember that God is in control. The Holy Spirit is a far better collection agent than you will ever be.

Joyfully yours,


For Further Exploration

For further exploration about Exodus 20:17 (KJV),read The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) from the Theology of Work Bible Commentary.