Everyone seems to have a story of some time in their life when they were not chosen. It may be a time from our youth when we were not chosen for the team. It may be the job we wanted that we didn’t get. It may be when we thought we had found the love of our life, but they didn’t love us back.
The experience of not being chosen seems to equal rejection. Even when we think we are over past experiences, a small bump in our present day life can bring back the pain of not being chosen.
Luke 19: 1-10 records the story of a man named Zacchaeus.
Zacchaeus knew what it was like not to be chosen. He had the kind of job that gave him a sense of power, but not love. He was a tax collector. He took a portion of everyone’s hard earned money. People only gave Zacchaeus what they were required to give him, and that begrudgingly.
Besides the lack of love in his life, Zacchaeus had another problem. He was short. Many people looked down on him.
Zacchaeus, like others in Jericho, had heard about Jesus. He was curious about what kind of man could attract such attention. Maybe Zacchaeus also wondered whether Jesus had paid his required taxes. In any case, he decided to see what the buzz was all about.
However, he was so short, he could not see over the crowd. He certainly was not going to ask for help. But he was creative. He spotted the sycamore-fig tree and he climbed it.
He may have felt powerful in being above everyone else. He may have felt a little bit smug that he could stay hidden and yet have a great view.
Have you ever been there? Comfortable in the crowd, a safe way back, where you could see, but not be seen? Does it seem safer than being seen and not being chosen? Or could it be that you fear being chosen? If you were chosen, what then?
Zacchaeus was about to find out.
When Jesus reached the spot
He looked up and said to him,
“Zacchaeus, come down immediately.
I must stay at your house today.”
Zacchaeus was chosen! Among all the people in the crowd, Jesus not only noticed him, Jesus stopped and saw him. He saw right through his outer covering to his very soul. Zacchaeus felt The Love of Jesus filling up every empty space inside of Him. He felt more alive than he had ever felt.
If Zacchaeus had ever imagined this moment, he would have thought he would have been overwhelmed with glee in being chosen above everyone else. He would have thought that finally he would be validated in the eyes of those who scorned him. But when his moment came, Zacchaeus was not even aware of anyone else. He felt as if he and Jesus were the only people on the planet!
When Jesus said He must stay at his house, Zacchaeus didn’t question HIm. He never stopped to consider whether he had made up his bed that morning, whether the bathroom was clean or what he would feed Jesus.
He came down at once and welcomed Him gladly!
Zacchaeus made the choice to trust Jesus and allow Him into his home. Jesus gave him The Present of His Presence. He gave Zacchaeus The Gift of being filled with The Greatest Love in the Universe. Jesus allowed Zacchaeus to know what it felt like to receive.
And when Zacchaeus felt the joy of receiving Jesus, he lost all desire to take. He wanted to give!
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord,
Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor
and if I have cheated anybody out of anything,
I will pay back four times the amount!”
Would Jesus Ever Choose Me?
What would you do if you were chosen by Jesus? You have been! He sees you where you are at this moment. He is stopping and looking at you. He sees right to your very soul. He sees you as you were created to be. If you are lost, you have just been found! He loves you and He wants to be with you right now.
If you have some areas that are not quite cleaned up for guests, that is ok. He is not a guest. He lives with you, even though you may never have noticed Him. If you don’t know to cook, that is no problem either. Jesus is a great cook, and He can create an amazing dish from whatever you have.
He doesn’t care what you believe you do for a living. He wants to give you a Life. He doesn’t care that you might not be chosen by anyone in the crowd. He, The Lord of The Universe, chooses you!
Jesus knows we may not have chosen Him yet, but that has not stopped Him from choosing us.
(Jesus’ Words to You)
You did not choose Me,
but I chose you
and appointed you
so that you might go and bear fruit — fruit that will last …
(Jesus speaking to God, His Father)
Father, I want those You have given to Me
to be with Me,
to be where I am …
(You Are In!)
… I am in My Father
and you are in Me
and I am in you …
(You Are Loved and Chosen!)
You are loved by The Lord
and we thank God
that in the beginning
HE CHOSE YOU
to be saved
through a life of spiritual devotion
and faith in The Truth.
2 Thessalonians 2:13