“Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” Luke 19.5
The story of Zacchaeus is one of the most dramatic stories of transformation in the
Bible. It is never listed as one of the healing stories, but perhaps it should be since it is a beautiful story of a man’s’ heart being transformed into something wonderful for God.
We all know the story of the short man who climbed up a tree to see Jesus. He was a detested tax-collector, yet by the end of the story we see a man paying back those he had treated unfairly and his former meanness replaced by abundant generosity. Perhaps the most amazing thing about this story is that Jesus did not say one word of reproach to him. Instead he offered him love and fellowship; Jesus wanted to be with him. It is this simple fact that changed Zacchaeus.
There are occasions when we read of Jesus eating with sinners. If all he did was to tell them how sinful they were, I doubt he would have been invited back again. Instead, he simply enjoyed their company. Jesus also wants to enjoy your company today. In fact he wants to be with you right now, and not only when you have improved a little - or a lot! He loves you now for who you are and does not wish you were anyone else. His longing is for you to spend time with him.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission