Read: Luke 19:1-10
When Jesus reached the spot, He looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. Luke 19:5-6
Can you imagine this scene? Jesus is entering Jericho, a crowd gathers like it always does when Jesus is around – people are lining the streets just to see Jesus pass by. Zacchaeus – who is vertically challenged – hears Jesus is coming through and he wants to get a look at this miracle working guy everyone is talking about. Because he was on the shorter side of tall, he had to run on ahead, climb a tree and hang out until Jesus and the crowd caught up to him. As soon as they did – Zacchaeus’ whole life was changed with one invitation.
“Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”
Do you think Zacchaeus had any idea what accepting that invitation would mean? Was he looking for life-change or was he just simply interested in seeing what the buzz was all about? Let me ask you this: did YOU have any idea what you were getting into when you accepted the invitation of Jesus? I know I didn’t :)! All I knew was that if Jesus could love someone like me that much, I wanted it!
I read the coolest quote by C.S. Lewis today. He writes:
“It is always shocking to meet life where we thought we were alone. ‘Look out!’ we cry, ‘it’s alive.’ And therefore this is the very point at which so many draw back—I would have done so myself if I could—and proceed no further with Christianity. An ‘impersonal God’—well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness, inside our own heads—better still. A formless life- force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap—best of all. But God Himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the hunter, king, husband—that is quite another matter. There comes a moment when the children who have been playing at burglars hush suddenly: was that a real footstep in the hall? There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion (“Man’s search for God”!) suddenly draw back. Supposing we really found Him? We never meant it to come to that! Worse still, supposing He had found us!”
Wow. The God of the universe – and He is looking for us – He is inviting us into this relationship, even when we’re just hanging out (in a tree, maybe?), oblivious to who He really is. Oblivious to what the invitation means. I’m blown away by His mercy!
Jesus, thank you for looking for people like Zacchaeus and like me, for extending the invitation before we even know what it means. Thank you for finding us! There is no love like yours, Lord. It’s in your name that I pray, amen.