Scripture: Luke 19:5–6, ESV
“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, ESV)
We learn a lot from the encounter that Zacchaeus had with Jesus Christ. Here was a “money guy” who was hated by his own people because he was a tax collector for the hated Roman government. He was a self-starter, and he really did not care what the crowd thought, otherwise he would not have been a tax collector.
He wanted to see Jesus Christ, and he knew he had to get ahead of the crowd. No one ever achieved anything of value just by following the crowd. He was short and needed the aid of a tree perch to see Christ. When he heard the voice of Christ piercing the noise of the crowd, he responded.
Note the urgency of this encounter.
Jesus told him to “hurry and come down.” Zacchaeus hurried and came down at the command of the Lord.
This is what we must do when we have the opportunity to obey the command of the Lord. This opportunity would never occur again in Zacchaeus’ life. He had the sense to respond immediately. The encounter changed not only where Zacchaeus would spend eternity but also impacted how he would live in eternity. His actions would echo into eternity.
What else do we learn from this encounter?
The life of Zacchaeus was changed! His world view, his view of wealth, and his view of his fellow man were all changed. He was a man of decision. The Spirit enlightened his heart, moving him to follow through right away with the new insight given to him by the Lord.
He made provision on the spot to give away a large portion of his wealth, in effect, becoming a strategic kingdom investor. To Zacchaeus, money was to be used for the advancement of the kingdom of God.
Another lesson we learn here is to “do our giving while we are living.” Zacchaeus had the joy of giving while he was living. One advantage of following this practice is to see the benefit of giving to other people in genuine need.
What a great example for us to follow today with our time, talent, and treasure.
Today, ask yourself:
As the Lord reveals to me what he wants me to do, am I taking immediate steps to make sure I am doing it in accordance with his will?