“A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, 'Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.' ” (Luke 19:2-5)
The story of Zaccheus reminds me how grateful I am that God doesn’t see the way the world sees. To the world, Zacchaeus was seen through the lens of his job, Tax Collector, his reputation, Thief, and his stature, Tiny. He was hated for his actions, mocked for his appearance, and wasn’t accepted as a friend. Jesus steps on the scene, and although he was well aware of these things, He saw with a different lens, He saw beyond the immediate, and He saw Zacchaeus’ heart. It was a heart that was searching, it was a heart that was open, it was a heart that longed for more, and Zacchaeus wouldn’t let his sins, or his shortcomings, or his stature stop him from pursuing Jesus.
God is searching for people who are searching for Him. Your standing in this world is inconsequential because He sees your heart. Your mistakes, past, present and future, can be forgiven because He sees your heart. Your appearance, whether you believe it or not, is perfect because you were fashioned by Him, AND He sees your heart. May we have the heart of Zacchaeus that refuses to let anything stand in the way of our pursuit of God.
I feel like there are people that are being called to a passionate pursuit of God, and that begins by pushing aside the excuses, overcoming the shame of our past actions, shutting out the words and judgments this world has put on us and pursuing the Mighty God who sees your heart. There is nothing that you could have done in your past that disqualifies you from the love of God in your present. Jesus saw beyond Zacchaeus’ sins and mistakes straight to his heart, and He desires to do the same for you.
On the flip side, many of us find great “pride” in our title, stature, reputation, and service, and this is a sobering reminder that God sees the heart. May our hearts be in a passionate pursuit of honoring God rather than stroking our own egos or gratifying our own flesh. God is more concerned with how we are pursuing than what we might be doing, thus may our hearts be seeking after His glory.
Jesus, thank You for Your love that sees beyond my title, reputation, and standing before man. May my heart be one that pleases You, that pursues You, that is pure before You. Forgive me for when I’ve allowed my shortcomings to inhibit my pursuit of You, and likewise, forgive me when I’ve found pride in what I was doing for You and disregarded my pursuit of You. In Your name, Amen.