One day while Jesus was passing through Jericho, a man named Zacchaeus came to see him.
If you grew up in Sunday School, you know that Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he. You may also know that he wasn’t a particularly good man; he was a tax-collector with a reputation for being dishonest.
Since he couldn’t see in the crowd, he climbed a sycamore tree to get a better view of Jesus. The Bible says…
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately, I must stay at your house today.” (Luke 19:5)
I love the urgency in Jesus’ words: “Come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”
Jesus was saying, “Zacchaeus, don’t wait. Don’t put this off. Something big is about to happen.”
How, then, did Zacchaeus respond?
So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. (Luke 19:6)
He made no excuses: “I’m not prepared. Can we do this later, after I’ve had time to get my life in order?” Instead, he seized the opportunity to have Jesus come to his home.
What happened next?
This spur-of-the-moment meeting led to a life-change for Zacchaeus. He said, in effect, “Jesus, I want to start doing things right. I’ll give half of my money to the poor, and I’ll pay four times the amount to anyone I’ve cheated.” And Jesus said…
“Today salvation has come to this house.” (Luke 19:9)
Salvation came today, because Zacchaeus responded to the invitation today. He might not have felt completely prepared to have the King of Kings enter his home, but he didn’t put it off. And his life changed as a result.
Every day brings a life-changing invitation that is our to accept or ignore. Something big is on the horizon. How you respond makes all the difference.