When I was a kid in Sunday School, we learned a little song about a Bible story. It started out with the lyrics, “Zacchaeus was a wee little man a wee little man was he.”
From the first line of that song, the teacher had my attention for a couple reasons. First off, I thought “Zacchaeus” was a cool name and secondly, I was a pretty short kid so I could relate to the Hobbit-like stature of the guy in the song. As I learned and song and story, Jesus started to seem more “real” to me. To my young mind, this story brought to life the personality of Jesus and it illuminated the simple path to Salvation that He offers us. As I read the story now in adulthood, I still find those beautiful aspects of our Savior’s Character and love for all people. I also see the importance of getting away from the crowd if the crowd is keeping me away from Jesus!
Take a moment and read this familiar passage of Scripture and the let words sink in. I believe that this story has the power to change your life! The Scripture is in italics and I’ve added some additional comments in bold to help you apply these truths to your own life.
“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.” Luke 19:1-4
Sometimes connecting with Christ requires leaving the Crowd. Remember that the Crowd can’t save you…only Jesus can.
“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
Don’t delay your response to Christ. Don’t make excuses, just step out in faith!
All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” Luke 19:7
Jesus loves imperfect people (and that includes you and me). His invitation to us is based on His goodness, not ours.
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Luke 19:8
Once Jesus gives us new life, we need to start a new lifestyle. Once we’ve been made right with God, we need to make things right with people.
Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:9-10
Jesus didn’t come to give you “religion,” He came to give you life!