Jesus never got so busy trying to save everyone that He didn’t stop for someone. The account of Zacchaeus occurs on Jesus’ walk to Jerusalem through Jericho for the Passover meal, which led to the Cross. This event was 8 days before the crucifixion. Most people would have thought to themselves 8 days before dying, “I have better things to do than stop for this sinner.” But no, on His way to His own crucifixion, Jesus stopped to help someone else.
When Jesus stopped for Zacchaeus, He modeled friendship but validated his worth. To validate the worth of someone, you need to know what matters to them. Jesus was more concerned about Zacchaeus’ personal well being than the fact His schedule, the crowd’s fickle opinion, and His disciples’ anxiety about who He was associating with. Jesus was able to see through the distractions of who Zacchaeus was to the true issue at hand. Zacchaeus, although outwardly wealthy and blessed, was inwardly impoverished and lonely. Jesus went beyond a shallow acknowledgement of Zacchaeus, He chose to be personal with him.
Who have you stopped for lately? How open have your eyes been to those around you? It’s no secret that the world is full of people just like Zacchaeus who are starving inwardly even though they may be putting up a good front outwardly. It won’t be until you choose to get personal with them that you’ll have an opportunity to introduce them to the One who can get them ‘out of their tree’. While being personal can interrupt your life momentarily, it change someone eternally. – Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff