The Men in Christ's Life: Zacchaeus
- Tuesday, May 13, 2008
3. Don't ever believe that Jesus isn't watching you and wanting to be involved in your life.
Can you envision being Zacchaeus at this moment? Standing in the tree, looking out and seeing Jesus coming your way. Oh, wow, there he is. The crowd moving, tight with people, children and animals. The dust from their sandals filling the air. Oh, he is almost here. I can see him coming. He is almost in front of me. I know he won't see me. I am one in a million people here. I don't really matter. But maybe, just maybe he might look up. I am the only one in a tree. He has to see me!
I have felt like Zacchaeus many times in my life. Jesus, look, just look. I am over here ... drowning in my sin, in my filth, in my doubt. Jesus, I need you so much. I can't do this alone; yet I keep trying to. I'm up here Lord ... can you see me? I want to change, I want my life to be different. Just look this way, and I know that is all it will take.
"Zacchaeus, come down immediately!" What? Is he talking to me? How does he know my name? There are so many people here. Oh, I bet he has heard about me and what I do for a living. Yeah, everyone knows my name, and they don't always use it in a nice way. "Zacchaeus, come down immediately! I must stay in your house today!" What? What? You not only know me, but you want to stay at my house? Don't you know who I am? Yes, Jesus says. He knows WHO YOU ARE!
In Bible times when people wanted to stay in your home, it meant much more than what it means today. That type of hospitality was a deep level of intimacy. It's like the difference between those outside your circle and those inside. It's your comfort level. Inviting someone over to your home was allowing them into that sacred circle of trust, of closeness, of safety. Jesus coming to Zacchaeus' house was not only a step in showing others his faith, but also showing Jesus' faith in Zacchaeus.
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today."
— Luke 19:5
4. Zacchaeus taught me about obedience, with joy.
Has Jesus told you to do something and you kind of hemmed and hawed about doing it? What I love about Zacchaeus is that he didn't argue with Jesus. I guess first he was blown away that in the midst of the crowd, that Jesus not only saw him, but called him by name. Second, he wanted Jesus to eat at his house. I believe Jesus wants to eat in our homes, too, but there are things we are still not doing that he wants us to do. We are still being disobedient about things. Things he has told us over and over to stop doing, as well as things he wants us to start doing. Now I am not saying that God isn't everywhere, even eating dinner with us. I am simply saying that Jesus wants a more intimate relationship with us and that we are the barrier to it with our sin.
Zacchaeus not only was obedient and came down out of the tree, but he welcomed Jesus gladly. Do you ever welcome God's direction? God's discipline? God's guidance? With joy? I don't, and I know I should as I know he is doing all these things in my life to help me and grow me to be more like him. Lord I pray for not only myself for those writing this that we welcome God's direction, his discipline, with joy.
So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
— Luke 19:6
5. Don't forget the he knows everything about you and still loves you.
Wow, he knew everything about Zacchaeus and still chose to go to his house. I think sometimes we are more concerned with what people think than God. Yes, we have a witness and we do need to be concerned about our witness. However, Christ came for the sick, not the healthy.
Years ago one of my friends used to say he was going into bars to witness to people—but he felt having a beer and a cigarette helped to reach lost people. Well, I think it's great to go into bars and such to reach lost people, but I don't think you have to compromise to do it. I think we, as a Christian society, are more concerned about what people think, but if you are really sold out for Christ it won't matter where you go to witness as your light will shine.
Did Jesus know Zacchaeus? Yes! Did it matter to him about who he was and his past? No! Christ loved Zacchaeus just has much as he loves you. He wants all of us to come to him, even though not all of us will.
All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.' "
— Luke 19:7
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