Today's Reading - Luke 18:31- 19:27
As I read through the passages, I began to think of Zacchaeus and how he was determined to see Jesus. Regardless of what his circumstances were, or how hard it would be for him to do, he was going to see Jesus. My immediate thought was that even though he had been dealt a short hand… literally, he found a way to see Christ. This makes me question, how often am I so determined to see Jesus that I don’t let my circumstances determine my passion to see Him.
All too often I allow myself to be a “victim” of my own circumstances and allow that to be what determines my ability to see Christ. Would I have climbed into that tree, or would I have accepted that I was too short, or that the crowd was too large for me to see Him? It also pointed out that Zacchaeus ran to go climb the tree. How often am I willing to run to Jesus? Unfortunately for me I find that most often I only run to Jesus when I need something, not simply to see Him or spend time in His presence.
I also appreciate Jesus’ response to Zacchaeus. Jesus does not simply walk on by and give Zacchaeus the nod of acknowledgment. He stops and takes the time to talk to Him. He invites him into a relationship. Jesus truly is a friend of sinners. He is not afraid of what others will think of Him or say about Him, but cares more about the lost person than the judgment that would surely follow.
Lastly, what I love most about this story is not the fervor that Zacchaeus displays, or even the response by Jesus to Zacchaeus. What I love most is Zacchaeus ‘ response to Jesus. He comes into a relationship with Jesus and immediately has an attitude of repentance. He truly does stop living in the sin that he had once known, and completely turns and goes the other direction. He gives back what he owes and more. Zacchaeus is a true convert and he is never the same. No one can have an authentic encounter with Christ and remain the same. Jesus was and is in the life changing business.
Do we run to Jesus only when we need Him or just because we want to see Him?
Do we take the time to love others like Jesus does?
Have we met Jesus in a way that makes it so we are never the same again?
Ok, put down the Bible and go do it.
by Josh Vaughan.