“And there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to 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 received him joyfully.” Luke 19:2 – 6
A couple years ago my friend decided to run a half marathon. A group of my friends and I made signs and dressed up to cheer her on throughout the course. Half way through the race, at about mile 7, there was the steepest hill in the entire race. We decided to park ourselves at the top of this hill and wait for our friend.
As we were waiting we were cheering on the other racers and at first it was a lot of “You can do it” and “Keep it up” cheers. Then we realized that the runners’ names were written on their race bibs and we were close enough to read the names so we started cheering for them by name. If you have run in a race or played sports just think about how much of a difference it makes when you are cheered on by name.
This is what Jesus does as He is walking through the city. Zacchaeus was a tax collector and extremely disliked by the people, but Jesus addresses Him by name. Another thing to realize is that Zacchaeus did not ignore Jesus when He called him. He instead “hurried and came down and received him joyfully.”
It is so easy to want to hide ourselves from Jesus because we would rather Him not see that side of ourselves, but that is not what He wants. We are each known by Jesus. He knows our names, He knows our lives, and like Zacchaeus we have the chance to hurry to Jesus and joyfully receive Him.
Instead of staying up in the tree, climb down and go to Jesus. He is calling you by name.