“5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” 6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 7 But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.”
Luke 19 tells us that Zacchaeus was known throughout the region for being the chief tax collector, and he had become a very successful man. He was also a very short man, and in our day, the stigma about short men is common knowledge. Over the years, some in society have viewed shorter men as less strong or powerful, and because of this, some shorter men overcompensate. They feel the need to be over achievers, and overly aggressive or domineering. We don’t know if Zacchaeus felt this way, but we do know from God’s Word that he had earned himself a high rank and was viewed as a person of authority. Zacchaeus was rich, and Jesus Christ talked about how difficult it was for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Those with great possession and wealth make a habit of clinging to the entrapment of those things. They value wealth more than they do faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and this way of operating ends in damnation. Zacchaeus stands out because on the day he met Jesus Christ face to face, his short stature meant that he had to do quite a bit of maneuvering. He knew the encounter with Christ would change him forever, and that it would be a treasure more valuable than any in the earth. This record is a profound spiritual lesson for the believer, because it demonstrates the heart that is necessary to abide in the love, power, and faith of Jesus Christ.
Many single people are wondering why the quest to cross paths with the person that is right for their lives isn’t immediate. They want results on the double and don’t understand why this blessing doesn’t materialize on demand. Sometimes, the delay is due to how a person views the desire for marriage and how they are feeling about it in their hearts. They view it as a necessity, God views it as a reward for being faithful to His purpose. Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing and perceiving the Word of God. When we break this down a little bit, we understand that faith can either be stagnant or faith can move. God’s Word is the truth. It is the definitive authority on every subject, aspect, and detail of life and living. God’s Word causes faith to come. Many single people don’t know the Word of God as well as they should, and you can’t have faith in something you don’t know or don’t believe. The knowledge of God’s Word that we do not know can cause us to walk around with a stagnant faith.
Given his short stature, Zacchaeus had a very strong determination, and it demonstrated his faith. To get through a crowd of others that were clamoring for the Master and to be able to climb a tree in hopes of getting a glimpse of Jesus Christ was evidence of how Zacchaeus had prioritized this encounter. He already had great wealth and affluence, yet these things had not fulfilled him. He knew there was more to life and would not let the opportunity to meet Jesus slip by him.
Every believer that is single and desiring marriage has to ask themselves if they feel this way about an encounter with Jesus Christ. At the time during which Zacchaeus desired to meet Christ, the new birth reality was not yet available. Zacchaeus did not have the Spirit of Christ dwelling within him, yet his desire for Christ far exceeds many of us living today.
We can’t fake the intentions of our hearts before God. He knows us too well. He knows us through and through, and He is fully aware of our motivations. This is one of the reasons that Zacchaeus received the tremendous blessing of salvation, because his heart was where it needed to be. The people in the crowd grumbled because they didn’t think Zacchaeus deserved to be in the company of the Master, but he had a heart for God, and this is all that mattered. James 2:26 gives us the definitive truth on this. It says, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” Zacchaeus didn’t wait to be told how to demonstrate his thankfulness to God. Luke 19:8(NKJV) tells us, “Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” This man’s deeds—his good works—demonstrated the condition of his heart. He wanted God to be pleased with his life and had done the things required to show it.
We must be clear that marital partnership isn’t necessary for ambassadorship in Christ, but commitment is. Jesus tells us in Luke 12:48 that to whom much is given, much is required. We must demonstrate our willingness to give our all to God through Jesus Christ. This is the attitude and heart-set that is rewarded. It was Zacchaeus’s heart that moved Jesus Christ to call him down from a sycamore tree. Zacchaeus had the right heart, and because he did, it put him at the right place at the right time. Let his example be your motivation, so that the same can be said of you. ■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
“The Right Heart Will Put You at the Right Place at the Right Time”, written for findchristianman.wordpress.com. Copyright©2022. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.