The Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” - Luke 19:10
Jesus uttered these words to a disgruntled, judgmental crowd after inviting Himself to be a guest in the home of Zacchaeus, a cheating tax collector. The people who witnessed this encounter were perplexed as to why Jesus would want to dine with a sinner notorious for taking advantage of the poor. However, throughout His journey, it was common for Jesus to pause, often in the middle of sharing the Gospel, and divinely intervene in the lives of those who seemed unrepentive and perhaps unworthy by those around them. Here, we can identify three characteristics of people who want to be all in and encounter Christ:
People who want to encounter Christ will avoid excuses. Those who sincerely desire to know Christ more will not allow opposition to stop them. Zacchaeus, because of his small stature, pressed his way through the masses of those gathered to hear Jesus' message. He made it a point to find a place that would help him clearly see and hear Jesus, even if it meant climbing up and sitting in a tree - this could not have been a comfortable posture. Each day, we are each faced with various distractions. The question is, what will we do to ensure a view of God in spite of what is in our way.
People who want to encounter Christ will be excited. Can you imagine how thrilled Zacchaeus must have been to have Jesus enter his home. Surely, he had no idea this would happen, yet he welcomed Jesus with great joy. In the same way, others should know we too encountered Christ by the pleasure we express in our relationship with Him.
People who want to encounter Christ will examine their own life. Upon this visit, Zacchaeus' heart was immediately convicted, and his conversion was confessed publicly. This tells us that no person is ever the same after they truly experience God.
Christianity is an intimate, growing relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. We can come to Him as we are, but a real encounter with Christ will not allow us to remain that way.