Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. [Revelation 3:20 (NLT)]
Consider the determination of Zacchaeus, the despised little man who, unable to shove his way through the crowd to see the rabbi from Nazareth, doggedly ran ahead and climbed a tree just to catch a glimpse of Him. Running and climbing were undignified behavior and certainly inappropriate for a wealthy businessman like Zacchaeus. Do we desire Jesus so much that we’d push our way through obstacles or risk looking ridiculous for Him? Are we as determined as the publican to learn about the Lord or do we use any flimsy excuse to miss church, Bible study or time in prayer?
If Zacchaeus thought he’d escaped notice hiding behind the broad leaves of the sycamore, he was mistaken. Jesus saw him as did the crowd when Jesus called out, “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” The crowd must have loved seeing the hated man embarrassed as he exposed his legs while climbing down the tree. But, it wasn’t just the tree from which Zacchaeus needed to descend; he had to come down from his “high horse” and humble himself before the Lord. In the presence of Jesus, Zacchaeus was no longer a rich powerful tax-collector; he was just a lowly sinner.
When Jesus invited himself to Zacchaeus’ home, the man didn’t say he had previous plans, the house needed cleaning, or his wife had nothing ready for dinner. The tax man immediately (and joyfully) welcomed Jesus into his home and life. Are we that quick (and happy) to meekly respond when God calls us or do we grumble and find a dozen excuses to delay?
As happens when we humbly encounter the Lord, once Zacchaeus met Jesus, he repented of his ways. He promised to give half his wealth to the poor and make full restitution to those he’d cheated by giving back four times the amount owed! The story of Zacchaeus, the man who almost instantaneously went from greed to generosity, shows us the amazing transforming power of Jesus. Zacchaeus, however, knew that what he was being offered by Jesus was far greater than any riches he could amass as a corrupt tax collector. The lost sheep had been found!
Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” [Luke 19:9-10 (NLT)]
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