“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.’” Luke 19:8 NIV
To identify with Jesus, I must have an inner change in my heart and spirit. Zacchaeus spent time with Jesus and repented of his sins by giving back the money he had cheated from people. Spending time with Jesus will bring a holy conviction and an inner change in your mind and actions. Being with Jesus should be a new direction and lifestyle of holiness. We become identified as a Christ follower, a Christian.
To be identified with Jesus, I must have had a revelation in my inner life, my spirit, to say, "I need to be saved from sin. I need Jesus in me." An experience or a movement never changes us, but only by Jesus can we be saved. We can receive His spirit and be identified inside and outside by Him.
Jesus' life is in Him. He is life (see John 1:4). To be personally identified with Jesus, which brings salvation and eternal life, I must have a new life. He is the God-man. He became a man, yet God was still in all power, authority, and divinity. The incarnation was for me and you to know and understand who God is and that we must adjust our life in Him. We must repent and be born again. We need an inner change; we need salvation life like Zacchaeus.
Zacchaeus realized his life was wrong. His life was not fulfilled by money, people, or fine things. His spirit needed life, an inner change. He did not need a new experience or a moral adjustment. He needed to repent, acknowledge his sinful life, and come to Jesus and follow Him.
Jesus was not working or acting alone when He came to earth. He is God in Person, in human flesh, who came to live with us and show us how to be changed and come to God. He became a man that we might become identified with Him in salvation and new birth.
[As adapted from The Bondage Breaker and Stomping Out The Darkness by Dr. Neil Anderson and Dr. Dave Park.]