“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.’”
Jesus knew. He knew Zacchaeus was waiting, hidden up in the tree, to see Him.
And that mattered to the Savior who seeks and saves the lost.
With all the crowd pressing in, all the people who wanted a glimpse of this miracle worker, He saw Zacchaeus. He called out his name and called him down.
Without this, Zacchaeus probably wouldn’t have spoken to Jesus. The Scripture gives no indication that he planned to try and get close to Him. He likely wouldn’t have had the audacity.
Zacchaeus was an outcast. A traitor in the eyes of the Jews – aligned with their Roman oppressors and corrupt in his dealings.
Yet out of all the people that day, Jesus singled him out. Showing that He knew his name. That he mattered. Enough for particular time, attention, and personal relationship: “Hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.”
What beautiful intentionality. And it changed everything for Zacchaeus and his family.
This is what Jesus does for us. Calling our name, beckoning us near, even when we feel too unclean and sinful to dare approach the Holy One.
He draws us in.
Because His cross paved the way to the throne of grace, where we are covered in His righteousness, forgiven all our sin, cleansed from the inside out, and given strength to stand firm and grow in wholehearted love for Him.
We do not change everything to get to Christ.
He comes to us, and when we respond to Him, He changes it all for us. He changes us. The full effects of the change come through a process, but it is one He will complete. And the initial transformation is immediate and eternal. Born again to a living hope (1 Peter 1:3). Our soul brought from death to life (Ephesians 2:4-5). From the kingdom of darkness into marvelous light (Colossians 1:13; 1 Peter 2:9). Sealed forever with His Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14). His love poured directly into our heart (Romans 5:5). We are His, called by His name, and He holds us firmly in His unfailing grasp (John 10:27-29).
It all starts with Him. The God who loved us first (1 John 4:19). The God who came to save us and who draws us to Himself through His work on the cross (John 12:27,32). So let us hurry and come down from wherever we have glimpsed Him. Let us answer His call, welcoming Him to come and do His will, abiding in Him, for it is in this that we find the joy we’ve been searching for. He is life for us – let us experience it to the full.