Seek Tender Hearts
A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.’ So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly (Luke 19:2-6, NIV).
The laughter of unchurched teen girls filled the room but as the leader of the teen-mom support group I could barely crack a smile. They were joking about their boyfriends and the latest movies they had watched, but all I could think about was their challenging circumstances and how much each one needed to hear about Jesus. If I spent every day meeting with a different, needy girl, trying to mentor her, it would fill up all my time. Yet how can I not do something? I felt helpless until God pointed out that I didn’t need to reach out to everyone I met. Instead, I just needed to pray my heart would be tender to the right person at the right time. After all, that’s what Jesus did.
Jesus no doubt had compassion when the crowds pressed around him. He knew their needs. He knew He could fill those needs. When Jesus saw a man up in a tree He knew that man was ready to hear the good news: That’s someone who’s not letting the crowds get in the way. That’s someone who really wants to see Me.
Hundreds of curious people wandered home that night, but Jesus sat at the table of the one who was ready for the good news.
“Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham,” Jesus exclaimed of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:9-10. “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (NIV).
Jesus was a seeker of tender hearts. It encourages me that I need to have my eyes open and my heart ready to reach out to those who seem curious to get a better look at Jesus.
FAITH STEP: Consider one person in your life today who seems ready and willing to listen. Go to that person and share a little about who Jesus is.
Written by Tricia Goyer