I love the experience of walking into the church doors and hearing my name being called. As I turn around, I see a young friend calling out, “Miss Des,” as she runs to greet me with big hugs and lots of love.
I leave that moment feeling seen and very loved!
Many people go in and out of these doors, yet these sweet young friends of mine can see me coming and be ready to greet me with enthusiasm and love.
As I was thinking about these types of moments a few days ago, my mind began to recall a song from my childhood.
After replaying this song repeatedly in my mind, I looked up this scripture and began reading about Zacchaeus.
He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. Luke 19:1-2
We read here that Zacchaeus was a tax collector. In those days, tax collectors were known for being greedy, cheaters, and taking advantage of the people for their own gain. Needless to say, they were not very well-liked or respected. I assume people tried to stay as far away from them as possible.
And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. Luke 19:3-4
Being a short person, I can relate. I need a step stool to reach almost anything, and I would need a ladder to see things from where Zacchaeus was trying to see Jesus. It took some extra effort for him to see Jesus. It says something. He wanted to see Jesus so badly He climbed up that tree so He wouldn’t miss the opportunity.
Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus, and he did what he had to do to see him. I wonder if he expected Jesus to see him, though.
And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. Luke 19:5-6
I wonder how Zacchaeus felt at that moment when Jesus called his name in front of all those people. I wonder how he felt when out of all those people there, Jesus called him.Tweet
I began thinking of how I would respond. Would I be worried about what the house looked like or if I had anything good to give Him to eat? Or would I be amazed that the Messiah just called my name and was coming to my house today?
Zacchaeus came right down with excitement and joy!
And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” Luke 19:7-8
As he came down and began walking with Jesus, the people around him grumbled and gossiped about how Jesus was going to be the guest of a sinner.
Have we ever done that? Have we seen someone visit or socialize with someone who is lost or doesn’t know Jesus yet?
What was our attitude about it? Did we become a Pharisee at that moment?
Here we see that as Zacchaeus spends time with Jesus and in His presence, He is changed. His heart is convicted of the sins he has committed. He repents and He goes back to make amends.Tweet
This is a beautiful thing!
When we see others who are struggling and come alongside them, they have an opportunity to see Jesus in us and experience His presence. Who knows how that would change them.
When we see those who are lonely and come alongside them, they get to experience the love of Jesus in a way they haven’t, and it changes them.
When we see those who are broken and have been left for dead, and we offer help and love, they experience the truth that no one is a lost cause, and they experience the hope Jesus offers. How might that change their heart?
And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Jesus saw Zacchaeus. He stopped and truly saw him. In doing that, Zacchaeus experienced the love and presence of Jesus, it convicted and transformed his heart, and he was saved.Tweet
I want to be like Jesus.
I remember that Jesus saw me. He reached his hand out to me and pulled me out of my pit. I experienced His love and presence in a real way for the very first time, even though I had already said a salvation prayer. My heart was convicted and transformed, and my life has never been the same.
I want to see others out of their pits, and I want to be the hands of Jesus and help them get out. I want them to experience the love and presence of Christ because they have been around me.
So many times, we walk by and stick our noses up because these people are sinners. What makes us think we are better or too good to associate with them? I am a sinner. That is why I need Jesus. Not just once during a prayer, I need Him every day, every hour, and even every moment.
I am thankful for the testimony of Zacchaeus. I am grateful that I am seen by the God who created and loves me. You are seen by Him too. We need to see others and help them know they are seen by God too.
I pray that God opens the eyes of our hearts to see Him better and then go out and see others better as well.