(5) And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. (6) And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.Luke 19:5-6
See the picture in your mind of this event. Zacchaeus is up in the tree. There are many people around. Jesus is coming with his disciples as an entourage. It would have been easy for a person to have walked by and ignore the man in the tree. In fact, there were many other people to which Jesus did not respond.
What do you think Nicodemus was thinking as Jesus was coming? Maybe he was just glad that had figured out how to get a glimpse of Him. We can see with his response in the next few verses that he was open to receiving Jesus. How surprised would Zacchaeus have been at being noticed by Jesus?
Jesus does stop and look up. Notice, Jesus calls him by name. How does Jesus know His name? Had he met him before? Was this a miracle highlighting the omniscience of God the Son? We do not know for sure. What we do know is that it happened. Jesus calls him by name.
Notice also that he tells him to come down. It is a command. He invites Himself over to Zacchaeus’s house. This would have been an enormous privilege to Zacchaeus. Because of his profession he was seen as a sinner. He would have some esteem for religious leaders but would have been ignored and even derided by them as a traitor for his profession. Here was Jesus, the one who had raised the dead, healed the sick, and proven Himself to be God saying He was coming to Zacchaeus’ house. This was very good news to Zacchaeus.
And so, we see his response in verse 6. He obeyed. He obeyed quickly. He obeyed joyfully. Jesus knew him, cared enough to know His name, and was coming over to his house. This was a moment for joy.
To know Jesus is a privilege. It is God’s grace for us to have any encounter with Jesus. Jesus has the ability to love, know, call, and forgive. Jesus has a desire to have a relationship with any who will turn to Him by faith. Sometimes, if we are not careful, those of us who have been in church and around the Bible for a while will get too familiar with Jesus. We forget the privilege and grace that it is for us to have a relationship with Christ. Let us not forget that we do not deserve to have a relationship with Christ. He saw us and has called us by name. Let us not forget the privilege that we have in Christ. Let us be quick to joyfully obey what He says.
How have you joyfully obeyed Jesus recently?