Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”
Zacchaeus made up for his short stature with a big bank account. He was the owner of tax franchises, a lucrative business. And he wanted to see Jesus. Tomorrow we will consider this chief tax collector’s response. Today let’s consider Jesus’ words to Zacchaeus. Three things stand out in their encounter.
Authority. Jesus walked under the tree where Zacchaeus was perched and called out his name. The Jews considered this ability to know the name of a person you had never met as the sign of a prophet. Maybe there was a gasp in the crowd when Jesus stopped, looked up, and said, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately.” Jesus demonstrated proof of His authority.
Intimacy. Jesus called Zacchaeus by name. Surrounded by a crowd He had a personal conversation. He knew what was on the tax collector’s mind. Jesus invited Himself over for a meal—a tangible sign of friendship. He cares for us deeply and knows us intimately.
Urgency. Note the urgency. Jesus said, “Come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” Jesus calls with urgency. He does not ask if He can get time on your busy schedule. He calls for our schedules to work around Him.
Lord Jesus, thank You for knowing me intimately and loving me all the way to the cross. Help me hear Your call as clearly as Zacchaeus did. In Your name. Amen.
Today on The Journey Broadcast: