April 17, 2023
So (Zaccheus) ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” (Luke 19:4-5)
What is your opinion of Christ? Do you see him as an important historical figure? The Son of God? The Savior of the world? The King of Kings and Lord of Lords?
All of these are true, but there is so much more. He is the One seeking you—the One wanting to stay at your house. It’s personal.
AN UNLIKELY HOST
Zaccheus was an unloved man. Any self-respecting Jew would never bow to work for those who were enslaving Israel. Zaccheus was seen as a traitor to his people and a sub-human to the Romans he served. And there was more that made Zaccheus unwanted and unloved. He was the “chief tax collector and he was rich.”
But there was something that no one knew about him … he longed for more. We can’t know his whole motivation, but when Jesus came to his town of Jericho, Zaccheus laid his self-esteem aside and climbed a tree to see the Messiah.
You might be surprised how many people you’ll encounter today who want something more. Realizing that their life is empty, they long for what they do not know. Their behavior may be offensive to you—even abhorrent—but they were made in God’s image, and the loss of their destiny has made them unfulfilled and desperate. Don’t see them as an object, but look beyond their exterior and see them as Jesus does.
AN UNASHAMED FRIEND
As Jesus walked through the crowds that day in Jericho, He knew exactly where He was going, for He was always listening to His Father’s voice. When He came to the tree that contained the hurting lost man, He stopped, looked up, and called Zaccheus to come down. In fact, He told Zaccheus to “hurry.” But then listen to the reason:
“For today I must stay at your house.” (Vs. 6)
It was the ultimate sign of affection and friendship. “I want to be with you and no one else,” Jesus was saying. Zaccheus felt Christ’s affection instantly and deeply and scrambled down the tree and “received him gladly.” One translation says, Zaccheus “welcomed Him as his guest, rejoicing.”
The crowd grumbled at Jesus’ choice, but Zaccheus immediately repented and opened his heart to this new-found Friend who simply loved him. And Jesus’ evaluation of the encounter with this hurting man He loved?
And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Vs. 9-10)
How do you see Jesus? Please open your heart this morning to the seeking Jesus. The friend who is closer than a brother. The One who loves you with everlasting lovingkindness. The compassionate King who has come to your tree, looked up calling you by name, and who wants to come to the home of your heart. Who wants to make His abode with you and in you. If you see Him as anything less than that, you’ve missed the depth of His intimate love for you.
And then today, follow Him instantly and fully. And love Him eternally. Sing the old song of the redeemed and tell others, “There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus. No, not One. No, not one.”
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