I was just thinking, as I heard some children singing “Zacchaeus,” that sometimes we just have to make the commitment to do whatever it takes.
There’s a song with those words as its title. Some of the lyrics are, “For whatever it takes to draw closer to you, Lord, that’s what I’ll be willing to do. And whatever it takes to be more like You, that’s what I’ll be willing to do.”
The Bible says this of Zacchaeus: “Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way” (Luke 19:1-4).
Getting Our “Want To” Fixed
Howard Cottingham was a fine deacon in Central Baptist Church of Prescott and was very wise. Often as he shook my hand while departing a service, he would say, “Pastor, sometimes we just need to get our ‘want to’ fixed!” That has stuck with me for years.
Indeed, the wealthy and well-known Zacchaeus could have said, “I’m too busy, and I don’t want to see this Jesus.” But he got his “want to” fixed, humbled himself, climbed a tree and he not only saw Jesus, but ended up hosting Him at his house. He had done whatever it took to get close to Jesus.
Just after Jesus had fed the 5,000, He told His apostles to get in a boat and go to the other side of the lake ahead of Him. Late in the evening, the Lord walked out to them. While all were terrified, thinking they were seeing a ghost, Peter got his “want to” fixed and requested that Jesus call the disciple to Him. We know that Peter walked on the water until he began to fear again. Then as Jesus pointed out Peter’s lack of faith, the Lord drew the sinking disciple to Himself.
The lesson for us is that just as Peter was willing to do whatever it took to be close to Jesus; in 2022, we need to do the same.
Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish Council, knew his reputation and standing would be at stake if he were seen with Jesus, but he wanted to see the Lord. So, under cover of darkness, he went to Jesus. He did whatever it took to draw close to Christ. Later the result was evident when he and Joseph from Arimathea gently took the Lord’s body from the cross and placed it in Joseph’s new tomb. Nicodemus was no longer hiding that he was a follower of Christ.
Getting Close to Jesus is Getting Close to God
Three men — a tax man, a fisherman and a councilman — all did whatever it took to see Jesus. Each is in Heaven with the Lord today.
It is essential that not only Christians do whatever it takes, but that those who are lost without hope do the same. “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40).
May each of us be willing to do whatever it takes, whether it is humbling ourselves no matter our positions, stepping out in faith despite our fears or coming to Jesus no matter the time of day.