“Zacchaeus, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” (Luke 19:5)
Sharing a meal with someone goes beyond merely filling one’s stomach with food. To eat on the same table or from the same plate with a person is a deeply spiritual act; it is a form of bonding. As our people say; “Only a child who washes his hands clean can eat with the elders.” The case of Zacchaeus in our Gospel passage is one clear example of how a single meal can change a person’s life forever.
Just as a man would propose to his spouse at the table, Zacchaeus, overwhelmed with joy declared: “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” Wow! Miracles also happen during meals. Recall that this was the same way Matthew became a disciple of Jesus.
Meal times are sacred times. Don’t just eat with your family (or others), begin with prayer, ensure that there is a spiritual reading during the meal, talk about Jesus while eating and conclude with prayer. Lives can be transformed when Jesus is part of our mealtimes.
It is interesting to note that it was Jesus who invited Zacchaeus and not vice versa. Zacchaeus did not have the boldness ask Jesus to come to his house but he had something that attracted Jesus; a genuine desire to see Jesus. The saying goes that “when the student is ready, the teacher appears.” How strong is your desire to see Jesus? Is it as strong as your desire to make money or succeed in life?
When we desire to see Jesus, there is always going to be an obstacle; a stumbling block or a set-back. Zacchaeus’ obstacle was his height. Just see how he used the sycamore tree to solve this problem. What is your obstacle; your weakness or your limitation? What efforts are you making to remove whatever is preventing you from full communion with Jesus?
Dear friends, just as Jesus asked Zacchaeus to host Him, Jesus desires to come into our hearts. Jesus, in today’s first reading says: “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me. I will give the victor the right to sit on my throne, as I myself first won the victory and sit with my Father on his throne.”
Why not open today and allow Jesus to take charge of your life?
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, help me to open my doors to you always. Amen.
Bible Study: Revelation 3:1-6,14-22 Psalm 15:2-5 and Luke 19:1-10).