Sometime our life can be so busy, we seem always to be in a rush. But something which is really important if we want to live like Jesus is that we take time for people. Jesus always had time for people!
In Luke 19 we read the story of Zacchaeus the Tax Collector. Verse 1 says ‘1Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through.’ This phrase passing through makes it clear that Jesus never intended to stop or stay in Jericho yet when he seen Zacchaeus in the tree, He stopped and said he must come to his house. We read that in the situation all the people thought bad of Jesus because He was going to the house of a sinner. Yet as a result Zacchaeus’ life was radically changed. In fact we read in verse 9, Jesus said ‘today Salvation has come to this house.’
So often we can be so busy ‘passing through’ a place that we miss the person in need. We miss that opportunity to share hope with the person. John MacArthur writes: The weight of so many responsibilities and distractions – even the worthwhile ones – has a crushing effect on a person’s relationship with Christ. It ruins our taste for spiritual things. It suppresses our exuberance for spiritual service. It suffocates our passion for pursuing Christ and the intimate relationship He offers. It all grinds away at our soul. Eventually, following Jesus starts to lose its luster. The blessings and joys of walking with Him are crowded out by myriad tiny details of life.
Another lesson we can learn from Luke 9 is the fear of what people think. The religious people spoke badly about Jesus because he went to the house of a sinner, yet Jesus went to that house so that salvation would come. Do we think twice before we speak to that drug addict, prostitute, alcoholic, and problem family in case people then look bad on us? We need to start seeing people with the eyes of Jesus. We need to start seeing beyond the social problems and see simple sinners in need of salvation.
William Booth is famous for saying ‘Go straight for souls, and go for the worst’. The Nottingham Journal records ‘William Booth started out from Nottingham largely self-educated, penniless, and practically friendless. He had one fixed idea. The whole of his effort and talent would be directed to the one purpose – saving the world. Like his predecessor Wesley, he took the whole world as his parish. So well did he succeed, that before he died, his name was known in practically every country of that parish, and his followers numbered in millions. He began with nothing, had no money, no powerful friends, only his golden voice, his passion, and this vision of man reconciled to God.’
We need to stop and take time for people.