A Quick Word About a Short Meeting

Three life-changing moments in the experience of Zacchaeus that can be yours.

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sabbath, January 3, 2015
Based Upon Luke 19

When you know someone is coming to your house, how do you prepare? What if that person is a dignitary worthy of honor? This is exactly what happened to Zacchaeus, and it was the best day of his life. I left out one important detail: Zacchaeus did not know Jesus was coming over.

Take a moment and read our theme chapter for the details of this story and you will discover that what we might think are our plans, are actually the providence of God in action. You will also discover that when God passes on the road of your life, all that you are, and all that you possess can be changed forever.

I would like to share a few things I learned from the story of Zacchaeus: Firstly, when Zacchaeus heard that Jesus was going to be in a certain place, for whatever his reasons, he cleared his schedule, adjusted his plans, and modified his path of travel to guarantee his path would intersect with that of Christ’s, for he knew Jesus would pass that way. There are times in our lives when we become keenly aware of our need for change. We realize that whatever direction our lives have taken thus far, must be changed. And, sometimes we think that we have arrived at that realization ourselves, when it was really the power and grace of God, which led us, step-by-step until we were willing to encounter the Lord for our life changing experience.

Secondly, when Zacchaeus encountered a seemingly impossible obstacle to his Christ encounter, instead of lamenting the fact and being defeated, he exercised his God-given ingenuity to increase his chances of accomplishing his goal. The obstacle Zacchaeus encountered was not merely the masses of people who had similar desires of meeting the Master. No. Zacchaeus had to overcome a genetic obstacle—one for which science has no cure. Zacchaeus was short of stature. There is no reconstructive surgery, height reassignment surgery, or pill he could have taken to change this characteristic, which was encoded into his DNA. Is this not the case with us. Do we not have deep-seated impediments to righteousness in our lives? Do not general predispositions to evil hamper our every effort to change? Have not cultivated tendencies toward evil etched pathways into our actual brains that make second nature, that which we should never have experienced in the first place? We all have impediments that hinder our ability to do the right thing. Yet, the Lord makes provision for us, as He did for Zacchaeus. That day, the short, little guy, who absolutely needed to experience Christ, was led to a common tree, and that common tree became a minister of righteousness. It provided a desperate man the facility to get a life saving glimpse of Jesus.

Lastly, when we finally do encounter the Lord on our paths of life, His power and will are present to create a remarkable change within us. When Jesus saw Zacchaeus in that strategically positioned tree, He told the man, who had many weaknesses to overcome, that He was going to his house that day. Whoa! When Jesus looks into your life and says that He is going to enter your house, don’t you worry about fixing things up. Don’t you worry about throwing all of your rubbish away. Don’t you worry about hiding those old things that clutter your guest room. When Jesus comes into a place, everything changes! When Jesus comes into a life everything in that life changes! Why was the Old Testament sanctuary holy? Why was the ground beneath the feet of Moses and Joshua as they met God on two separate occasions holy? Why is New Jerusalem holy? All that is holy, and all who are holy, are such because Jesus is there. His presence changes the very atmosphere. As such, Zacchaeus immediately began to live according to his new, God-given holiness.

Will you let Jesus lead you on the path to righteousness this fine Sabbath morning? Will you allow Him into your house and disrupt the hiding of skeletons in your closets and destroy your efforts to tidy the place for Him? Will you give Him the keys to your heart and let Him recreate you? Zacchaeus was neither unique or privileged. You, too, can have a life-changing encounter with your God today. I know He is even now passing your way. Come on over and meet Him.

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