Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he made haste and came down, and received him joyfully . . .
Try this simple exercise: Can you name both of your parents? Most people can. How about all four of your grandparents? All eight of your great-grandparents? Unless your hobby is genealogy, it breaks down pretty quickly, doesn’t it? And yet, less than a century ago, your great-grandparents were in the prime of their lives. Don’t you imagine that their lives mattered? In a sense, of course they did! And yet, here we are today, and their names escape us. Time has moved on, and all that they were, all that they believed, and all that they accomplished is rapidly disappearing over the horizon.
And so it will be with you. Your kids, if you have any, know you. So do (or will) your grandchildren. But get just one more generation down your own family tree, and they quite probably won’t even remember your name, let alone your life story.
So, how do you intend to matter in the long haul? What is your hope of lasting significance? Look again at the scripture above, and I bet you’ll see it. Other than Zacchaeus (and Matthew the Apostle) how many first century Jewish tax collectors can you name? Hundreds of them lived and died and have completely faded away.
But not Zacchaeus! Do you see that we are eye-witnesses to the very moment when Zacchaeus’s life started to matter in a way that would long outlive him? What was that moment? It’s the moment that he came out of that tree and joyfully received Jesus.
There’s an old poem , written by C.T. Studd, that says it well:
“Only one life, ‘twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”
What will you do, today, to have a life that counts.
McGregor Baptist Church
3750 Colonial Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33966