In one of my favorite Andy Griffith Show episodes, a visiting pastor tells the congregation to “Slow down. What's your hurry?” The citizens of Mayberry tried so hard to slow down, they wore themselves out.
We should slow down from time to time and take in all of God's beauty and splendor. A long afternoon picnic is very relaxing. A well deserved vacation is even more so. The speed of life slows down allowing us to admire God's handy work in the beauty of our country, as well as other parts of the world.
But if there's ever a time not to slow down, it's choosing to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 19, there's the story of Jesus and a man named Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus lived in Jericho and was a publican, that is, a tax collector. Being a tax collector made him very unpopular with his fellow citizens because taxpayers were wealthy, generally because they overcharged people on their taxes so they could dip their hands into the till and keep the overages for themselves. And to top this off, Zacchaeus was a short, little man. So, you can imagine the frustration and disdain the people of Jericho felt toward him. Big, brawny men handing over their hard earned money to this little squirt of a man.
Then one day Jesus passed through Jericho. A large crowd had gathered to see Him, and Zacchaeus, being short in stature, climbed a sycamore tree to get a good look at this Man from Galilee.
As Jesus passed by him, He told Zacchaeus to “Make haste and come down from that tree. Today I must stay with you.”
Jesus did not say, “I'll be back here in a couple of days, so when you're ready come on down.” He said to “Make haste.” Jesus wanted to stay at Zacchaeus' house. Zacchaeus was a sinner, yet Jesus let him know he wanted to see him and stay with him. His response was one of repentance. He gave half of his goods to the poor. He promised to pay back those he had cheated fourfold.
But people could not understand Jesus' reasoning. Why would He lower Himself to stay at a sinner's house. But who above all else needs salvation? A sinner!
By telling Zaccaeus to make haste, Jesus was saying not to waste time when accepting the Son of Man. And if we replace the word “house” with “soul”, we see Jesus wanted to live in a sinner's, Zacchaeus, soul. And Zacchaeus repented and accepted Jesus. The tree he was in can be used as something we as sinners cling to. Something of this world. Farther up the tree we go and see no way of coming down. Then, one day, Jesus passes by and says, “Make haste. Come down out of the tree. I want to stay with you.”
Why make haste? Because in 2 Corinthians we read, “NOW is the accepted time. NOW is the Day of Salvation.” Not a few days from now. Not a week from now. TODAY! Tomorrow is not promised in God's Word.
Is Jesus is passing your way and calling out to you? Then don't wait for Him to pass by another time. There may not be another time to accept Him. Come down out of your tree. Make haste!!