Gracious Heavenly Father, Thank you for this day, and what it will bring. May we approach it with a penitent and joyful heart…and live it to the full, afforded to us by the sacrificial life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Luke 19:1-10 (NKJV)
19 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”
8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
I know I’ve read or heard this story I don’t know how many times, but this time was…thankfully…a little different. Seeing Zacchaeus’ reaction to the approaching Messiah..and his subsequent encounter…was quite intriguing to me. We don’t know how much Zacchaeus had heard about Jesus up to this point, but it is obvious that something was drawing him to this “crowd drawing” Rabbi. Was it just pure curiosity?...was he just caught up in the excitement of the crowd? Then,..I would guess to Zacchaeus’ surprise…Jesus calls him out by name and says…hey, I’m going to come spend time with you…in your house…and it didn’t matter what or who Zacchaeus was or even what others thought…Jesus had spoken…the Kingdom was near. Now comes that part that Luke recorded about this event that really got my attention…” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.”
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
As the story continues, Zacchaeus describes to Jesus his penitence for his sin in such a vivid and excited way…
“Look, Lord,…”, and with that, Jesus announces his blessing to Zacchaeus…one of the lost sheep of Israel
…and to his household…all the while, demonstrating to those present…and to us all through the Word, that He, Jesus, the Son of Man…is truly human…is truly God.
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
What a wonderful picture of “Joining Up”!
Jesus, thank you for your love and grace. I so want my heart…my whole being…to be focused on your ways and not mine. Please forgive me of my sins…and when I come to Join Up with you, may I do it with joy like Zacchaeus had…and may that joy be multiplied over and over again, with those that you have so blessed me to connect with. This I pray in the mighty and precious name of Jesus.