How do we respond when the busyness of life crashes together with a divine encounter that the Lord has orchestrated?
In Luke 19 1-10 A story of inconvenience, curiosity and forgiveness plays out that should cause us to stop, look around and want more inconvenient opportunities.
As Jesus was passing through Jericho a little man named Zacchaeus was curious, interested in this one who the crowds were flocking too. He was not a man of good character, he was wealthy, not just a tax collector but the chief tax collector (the big cheese). He was considered unclean because he touched money.
Zacchaeus climbed a tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus as he passed by.
What made Zacchaeus so curious? Why did this "little" man take the time to climb a tree? What was he hoping for?
I think he was just a little curious if there was possibly more to this Jesus than what he had heard from others.
I think he was hoping for an actual encounter with him.
As Zacchaeus sat perched in the tree Jesus came by. When Jesus reached the spot he looked up and said, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately..." vs. 5. Jesus stopped not because he had to and certainly not because it would make him look cool. He stopped because he loved Zacchaeus and was willing to meet him where he was at that moment. Jesus went one step further and told him, "I must stay at your house today."
I wonder when Zacchaeus climbed that tree if he was at a place in his life that he needed to encounter Jesus? If Jesus just passed by because he was "to busy" or worried that he might be frowned upon for talking to him, Zacchaeus could have been lost for eternity. Zacchaeus not only from that moment on believed in God but his entire household was saved.
"For the son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." vs. 10
How many times have we just passed by?
Who in your life is like Zacchaeus perched watching you, waiting for you to stop and share your life with him/her?
Are you willing to go one step further and not only talk to that person but sit down, break bread, enter their house?
God sometimes asks us to rub elbows with the "unclean," frowned upon people in society.
You may even think you have nothing to offer... after all that was Jesus that approached Zacchaeus, right?
If you have received forgiveness, you are a new creation.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Someone should be shouting amen right now!!!
You have the authority and the right to stop and be available. Be ready to respond to what or who God is placing right in front of you.
The times I have grown the most in my life are the times that I have seen God move in others lives.
I want a Zacchaeus encounter.
Are we so scheduled, busy, getting life done that we are missing these little moments to impact someone else's life?
Sometimes we are required to give when it hurts (we may not be able to purchase that amazing gift we wanted for Christmas), because God is asking you to spend it on the single mom who is quietly waiting for Jesus to pass by.
You may have to be ten minutes late for a play date because on your drive to the park you notice a women crying on the bench by the road.
Is she waiting for Jesus to pass by?
Your grocery budget might be a little stretched this month because for the next month you are going to commit to having dinner with the married couple that wants to throw in the towel because it is just starting to be to much.
Are they waiting for Jesus to intervene?
Your jacket is sure warm right now... imagine all of those sleeping in tents. They will most likely never contribute to your church in a financial way, but God would have you stop and take a moment to care.
Who is the Zacchaeus in your life?
Call someone down from the tree and do what Jesus did for Zacchaeus.
You are not Jesus but you were made in His image.
You will not have all of the answers but that is not what anyone is looking for.
They are looking for someone, not just anyone but the ones that call themselves Christians. The ones who know where to find hope.
They are waiting for you to notice, for you to respond.
Lord, thank you for modeling the ministry of interruption. Thank you for showing us that even you, Jesus Christ has time for us. Lord help me look for Zacchaeus moments in my life. Lord give me wisdom as I try to balance being available with being busy. Help me not judge rich or poor but to seize every opportunity to show your love to someone today. --Amen
Share with me a Zacchaeus moment you have experienced. Perhaps you were Zacchaeus and someone didn't pass you by. I would love to hear your story.