Jesus in the house

By the time Jesus reached Jericho he had developed quite a reputation as a teacher. Though He was just passing through, people were gathering to see him anyway. (You have to consider the limited entertainment options available in the 1st century.) Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector was a short guy so he climbed a tree for a better view. When Jesus got to Zacchaeus’ tree He looked up and said, “Come on down, I’m inviting myself to your house!” (This would be like being invited to hang with a touring rock band.) Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. Many in the crowd were annoyed, “He’s staying with that sinful man, that tax-collector (It wasn’t just the IRS back then, tax collectors were personally considered social pariahs.) Luke 19:1-7

Zacchaeus was completely jazzed that Jesus was coming to his house. He wasn’t thinking about whether the house was clean or the pantry was stocked. He wasn’t worried about who else might show up. Maybe Jesus didn’t pick one of the self-righteous crowd because they would have stressed about proving themselves worthy, making themselves and their houses look perfect, or groveling about how they didn’t deserve the honor. Maybe joy and excitement made for a better vibe.
Later at his house, Zacchaeus told Jesus that he wanted to donate to the poor and make it right with anyone he had cheated. For Zacchaeus this was a response to being with Jesus. Jesus had already chosen to come to Zacchaeus’s house when this happened.  Jesus didn’t make a deal that He would only come to Zacchaeus’ house if he would clean up his act and Zacchaeus didn’t try to bribe Jesus with such promises. That’s not how it works. We kill the joy and excitement of being with Jesus when we try to make it work like that.

Lord, thanks for not just visiting the house, but for living here even though it gets messy sometimes.