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
Jesus had an uncanny ability to touch people that were on the periphery of society. He touched the Gerasene demoniac (Mark 5:1-17), the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11), blind Bartimeus (Mark 10:46-52), and Zaccheus, among many. Some of the people Jesus touched by his message, his love, his forgiveness, and his compassion were deemed uncleaned and impure according to Jewish religious standards. Consequently, Jesus irritated the religious establishment with his persistence in fellowshipping with sinners, or tax collectors, or prostitutes. He made it clear that he came to save the lost (Luke 19:10).
It was, therefore, not a coincidence that Jesus invited himself to Zaccheus’ house. Though Zaccheus was a Jew, he was despised by his countrymen for his vocation. Zaccheus was a castaway that would have never be accepted in the synagogue. Nor would he had been given the opportunity for redemption.
Interestingly, the name Zaccheus means ‘pure’ or ‘innocent.’ Jesus saw the best in Zaccheus when everyone else saw the worst in him. He touched Zaccheus with his love and compassion when everyone else loathes the very sight of Zaccheus.
Those that have gone astray and are forsaken by friends, family, or fellow church members can yet be redeemed and restored by Christ's precious blood. What I love most about Jesus is that he is indiscriminate in his touch. Whereas others may shun a person because of his or her deeds, they can yet be redeemed and restored through Jesus Christ.
Jesus did not ask Zaccheus if he could go into his house. He told him, “I must stay at your house today.” Among the many definitions of the verb (must) used by Jesus is a “necessity established by the counsel and decree of God, especially by that purpose of his which relates to the salvation of human beings by Christ's intervention.” In other words, because Zaccheus had a necessity for salvation, Jesus was compelled to stay at his house.
Jesus knew that Zaccheus was in desperate need of his touch. So he invited himself to Zaccheus’ house. In the same way, Jesus is inviting himself in the heart of every sinner. The Lord wants to touch our infirmities and make us whole. He wants to touch our hearts so we can be born again.
Zaccheus climbed a sycamore tree so he can see Jesus. He went out of his way to get the Lord’s attention because he did not want to pass off on the opportunity to see Jesus. Thankfully, you and I do not have to go out of our way so the Lord can touch us. All we have to do is change our ways and allow him into our hearts.
Jesus wants to touch those who are shackled by a heavy burden with a load of guilt and shame. He wants to touch the weary and the hopeless. The story of Zaccheus reminds us that no sinner is so damned that Jesus cannot save. It lets us know that God sees us where we are and wants us to meet us at our point of need. The greater our need, the bigger the touch we can get from Jesus.
Therefore, let us boldly come to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). During this season of uncertainty, may I encourage you to come and be healed at the fountain? Jesus is waiting for you just as you are. He will touch you and make you whole.
Prayer- Blessed Lord, please touch those who are struggling with COVID-19. May you touch those that are lost in this world of sin!