Luke 19:1-27 One of my favorite songs I sing to children is “Zacchaeus.” It goes like this: “Zacchaeus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he. He climbed up in the sycamore tree, the Lord he wanted to see. And when the Lord came passing by He looked up in the tree and said, ‘Zacchaeus, you come down. For I’m going to your house today. I’m going to your house today.'” This passage tells us that Zacchaeus made haste and came down from the tree and received Jesus joyfully. Jesus was on His way to have lunch with Zacchaeus, and those around began to complain because He was going to the home of a sinner. Jesus says, “This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (vv. 9-10, KJV).
The other night we were talking with our Russian son about Touched by An Angel, our favorite program on TV. In fact, it is the only one we watch. We always enjoy this show because it has so much Scripture in it and it always has a good story line.
Vladimir told us that some Christians do not like the show. I asked him why, and he said, “Because the angels in the show reach out to people who are not saved.” I could not believe that some would object to angels reaching out to the lost because after all, isn’t that what Jesus came to do? He came to seek and save the lost. My guess is that those who murmur about reaching out to the lost are probably also lost. They may have a form of religion and may call themselves Christians, but they could be compared to the religious leaders in Jesus’ day.
Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship with the living Jesus Christ. The religious leaders in Jesus’ day were always opposed to Jesus. Today in America many have religion, but few have an abiding relationship with Jesus Christ. The Scriptures tell us that in the End Times people will have a form of religion, but will deny the power of God.
Zacchaeus was seeking a relationship with Jesus, and this is why Jesus invited Himself to his home. Jesus said, “Zacchaeus, hurry up and come down; I’m going to your house today.” Zacchaeus responded joyfully to Jesus’ invitation, and he also repented for all of his wrongdoing and promised to restore fourfold to all who he had taken from because he accused them falsely. When we meet Jesus, we have no choice but to repent and ask forgiveness.
Daily Jesus gives this invitation to all. He says, “I must abide at your house.” If we have only a form of religion, we will never know the joy of having Jesus abide in our home (our hearts). When we hear His voice, we have to come down from the pride, religion and other strongholds that hold us, and then we must repent of these things. The result will be joyful.
READ: Joshua 16:1-18:28; Luke 19:1-27; Psalm 87:1-7; Proverbs 13:11