Scripture: When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today” (Luke 19:5).
Focused, she bustled past me in the canned goods aisle. Her Bluetooth device behind her ear, she filled her grocery cart while carrying on a phone conversation. I saw her again while I was in the self-checkout lane. Cool and collected, her ability to multitask seemed admirable on the surface. However, her curt tone toward a cashier revealed that the woman’s need to be on task had left her unable to care about others.
Regardless of where we live, or what space in history we occupy, we can view life through our own obligations and desires and miss the people around us. And if we were to strip away the latest wireless technology, the convenient self-checkout, and the myriad options in a modern-day grocery store, the people walking the streets of a dusty road in Jericho could have been much the same.
As he describes Jesus’ encounter with Zacchaeus, Luke highlights this truth: The kingdom of God flourishes when individual hearts are restored (Luke 19:6). The people had strong opinions about Zacchaeus. He was a cheat, a nuisance, and an outright sinner who didn’t deserve their time, much less Jesus’ attention (Luke 19:7). Focused on their own needs, they couldn’t understand why Jesus would choose to invest in someone who seemingly had so little to offer.
But in that moment, despite the people around Him, Christ’s agenda became all about one person (Luke 19:4-5). It was this same care for individuals that would lead Him to begin a journey toward the cross and cause Him to weep over a city of lost souls (Luke 19:30-35,41).
Life will always be busy, but if, by His power, we follow Jesus’ example, we’ll understand that we best display God’s kingdom when we also display Jesus’ care for each person we meet.