JESUS SAID: Hurry Down
When Jesus got to the tree where Zacchaeus was, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry down. Today is my day to be a guest in your home.”
Everyday, just by virtue of a new day, we start over to seek meaning, love, understanding, and significance. So today, instead of rushing off to do something that just keeps us busy, take some time to read a little story about a man who felt insignificant. His name is Zacchaeus. After you read this story, let’s see if there is something of meaning that we can use today to connect with our relevant and present God.
The story of Zacchaeus is found in Luke 19:1-10. We’ll read it first in the King James Version. As you read the story, look for key concepts or words that stand out to you.
Luke 19:1-10 King James Version (KJV)
And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. 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. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, 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.
What key words stand out and what is going on?
- He was a rich and positionally-important man, but something was missing.
- He had a drive for something personal. He sought to “see” who jesus was – Luke 19:3
- He had outside challenges in his quest to see Jesus: the crowd was in his way.
- He had personal challenges in his quest: he was of short statue.
- He showed persistence in his quest: he ran ahead
- He put effort into his quest: he climbed up into a tree
- He engaged in his quest first hand.
- He showed up to take advantage of an opportunity by being right in the path of where Jesus was going.
- Jesus acknowledged and responded to Zaccheaus’ effort to SEE Him: Jesus looked up and SAW him.
- Jesus rewarded Zaccheaus’ persistence: Make haste and come down,
- Jesus gets personal. Jesus said “for TODAY I must stay at your house.”
- Zaccheaus response to Jesus response is that he made haste and came down and receive Him joyfully.
- The response of the onlookers was that they complained and they judged a man who was a sinner
- Zacchaeus stood and asked to be examined. His short statue got as tall as it could to be sure that he was right in the Lord.
- Jesus’ response to self-examination was this: “Today salvation has come to this house…for the son of man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Now let’s read the same passage in the Amplified Bible. This time, look for the emotions that are expressed in the passage, or the emotions that come up inside of you as you respond to what is going on.
Luke 19:1-10 Amplified Bible (AMP)
And [Jesus] entered Jericho and was passing through it. And there was a man called Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, and [he was] rich. And he was trying to see Jesus, which One He was, but he could not on account of the crowd, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up in a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass that way. And when Jesus reached the place, He looked up and said to him, Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today. So he hurried and came down, and he received and welcomed Him joyfully. And when the people saw it, they all muttered among themselves and indignantly complained, He has gone in to be the guest of and lodge with a man who is devoted to sin and preeminently a sinner. So then Zacchaeus stood up and solemnly declared to the Lord, See, Lord, the half of my goods I [now] give [by way of restoration] to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone out of anything, I [now] restore four times as much. And Jesus said to him, Today is [Messianic and spiritual] salvation come to [all the members of] this household, since Zacchaeus too is a [real spiritual] son of Abraham; For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.
What is my reaction or emotional response to this scripture?
Zaccheaus was treated with dignity by Jesus. He was cared for, he was treated special, important, and he was noticed. This must have felt good for Zacchaeus, since in his personal and professional life, people probably didn’t like him much. Jesus got personal with him, which made Zacchaeus feel significant. Zaccheaus was positive even though he had the challenges of being short and the crowd was in the way. Reward of being seen by Jesus was the result. The emotions that Zaccheasu could’ve felt are importance, gladness, and love.
What is God saying?
What I hear Jesus saying is to “hurry down” to Him. I hear Him saying is that it is better by coming to Him. I hear Him saying that He works with our imperfections and barriers to show us a better life. I hear Jesus saying that riches and fame don’t bring happiness or significance. I hear Him saying that Jesus’ mission is to seek and save all.
Next, let’s now read the same scripture from The Message.
Luke 19:1-10 THE MESSAGE
Then Jesus entered and walked through Jericho. There was a man there, his name Zacchaeus, the head tax man and quite rich. He wanted desperately to see Jesus, but the crowd was in his way-he was a short man and couldn’t see over the crowd. So he ran on ahead and climbed up in a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus when he came by. When Jesus got to the tree, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry down. Today is my day to be a guest in your home.” Zacchaeus scrambled out of the tree, hardly believing his good luck, delighted to take Jesus home with him. Everyone who saw the incident was indignant and grumped, “What business does he have getting cozy with this crook?” Zacchaeus just stood there, a little stunned. He stammered apologetically, “Master, I give away half my income to the poor-and if I’m caught cheating, I pay four times the damages.” Jesus said, “Today is salvation day in this home! Here he is: Zacchaeus, son of Abraham! For the Son of Man came to find and restore the lost.”
What is God saying to me personally?
I have to ask myself about what am I doing with Jesus’ command to me to “hurry and come down”.When it comes to Jesus, sometimes it is like I’m hurrying away, not hurrying toward Him. When repentance is only one decision away from Joy in Heaven, why is it so hard to repent and come down off of my pedestal of pride? What will it take for me to daily allow the inner tugging to break free to really seek and see Jesus, to not hold back, to go for true joy, to “hurry down”.
I need to avoid complaining. I have got to stop judging others. I do need to stand up for what is better, no matter the distractions or past habits that have kept me from something better! No matter what my traits or situation, even if it is negative, bad, disadvantaged, I do have a choice for a better way. I must not let anything stand in the way of responding to Jesus. Zaccheaus’ drive to “see” prompted him to pursue Jesus.
What would happen in my life and relationships if I were to apply what I am hearing God say? How can I share what God is saying to me?
Take a stand, and stand up for Jesus. Also, stand up for those who are being complained about. Be positive, and be a Zaccheaus role-model. Acknowledge who and what I am, and go to Jesus boldly.
Talk to God in prayer about His message to you through this scripture.
Lord, thank you for giving me the Zaccheaus story.
Give me drive to follow the inner tug you are having on my heart.
Help me with the challenges I have that are trying to keep me from You.
Lord, help me persist and put effort into my quest to really see and know you.
Lord, come into my heart and stay. Fill me with your joy and strength.
Lord, forgive those who judge me…I choose you.
Examine my heart, Lord, for you will find that my desire for you is pure.
Lord, I am lost without you!
I really do desire your salvation.
I repent, Lord, and I thank you for saving me!