Luke 19 | Jesus shows up to Jericho, simply en route to the better destination. He heads onward to Jerusalem, until a swarmed-in crowd slows Him down. He’s used to this—this is nothing new. Crowds too big to count press up-close to Jesus, to lock eyes with Him live and in person. They crave proof, that He is who He claimed to be. But He seems nothing special, looks ordinary unlike they’ve been imagining. They’re whispering disappointed and unimpressed—no jewels or shine or magic or waltzed-in grand entrance—as the so-called King walks in plain ordinary.
In walks Zacchaeus—infamous tax collector rich off the scams of this crowd exactly—but no one seems to notice. For he’s disliked and he knows it and crowds of those he’s blatantly wronged are his least favorite. So he too slips in unannounced and plain ordinary. Refusing any eye contact, he scurries ahead to a sycamore, climbs up up up high to get a better look at this Jesus. Tree limbs and leaves rustling and crowds pressing in, but Jesus pauses. He stops the second He reaches Zacchaeus’ hiding spot, looks up up up and locks eyes with Zacchaeus. He calls him by name and says, Come down here, come quick! I must stay at your house today. The crowd grumbles—how dare He choose that one! Who invited this sinner today?
One encounter with Jesus and Zacchaeus knew He noticed him always. No matter the crowd’s density or the hiding spot’s seclusion, the King won’t let him go unnoticed. Jesus invites this sinner today: Zacchaeus, friend, won’t you come out of hiding? Won’t you let me into your world, and share a table with me? Won’t you look my way? One simple invitation and Zacchaeus empties his pockets and his pride. He comes out of hiding, in every way possible. Unveiled, exposed, found all-the-way out—then comes one final invitation. A divine one, a lasting one from King Jesus Himself: “Today, salvation has showed up to this house. Welcome to the family, friend. For the Son of Man came to notice the anyones, to seek and save the lost.”
This is what salvation looks like. How could I forget? Remind me I no-way deserve it, that You look in my direction, that You’ll freeze time until I notice You notice. You stare straight into the Holleys and the Mias and the Laynes and into Zacchaeus and see the very heart You handcrafted. You invite them into real Life, and all of Heaven’s up up up There cheering! I’m noticed, I’m invited, I’m called by name. I’m found all-the-way out and You love me anyways. You don’t miss a thing, my J!