“Forty years, Dr. Smith! Congratulations!”
“Thank you! Thank you!”
“You still look the same from the first day we met as dermatology residents, Jake!”
“Ha! Ha! You are too kind!”
I was privileged to participate in a virtual retirement party for a long-time colleague with whom I had worked for the past twenty-five years. Dr. Jake Smith was a dermatologist who trained at the same residency program for which I am now one of the directors of training. Throughout his entire career, he was a volunteer faculty member and generously gave of his time and experience to teach generations of dermatologists, many of whom were now participating in this virtual party. The moderator asked each of the participants to introduce themselves and share a warm memory of their interactions with Jake. When my turn came, I eagerly obliged.
“Jake, when you speak to me, you make me feel like I am the only one in the room!”
Several people nodded in agreement. Listening to his colleagues and friends congratulate him and recount their experiences reinforced what I felt. When he spoke to us, we immediately knew we could trust him implicitly, whatever we shared would be held in absolute confidentiality. What a special gift this man has! Jake’s character points me to another great Man.
When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled. Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
Luke 19:5-8 (NLT)
I suspect that many people who met Jesus Christ in person may also have felt very comfortable and trusting of Him, similar to my relationship with Dr. Smith. Why else would Zacchaeus, a reviled tax collector, gush over Jesus Christ in front of the very citizens he likely defrauded, and confess and repent of his sins?
If I was Zacchaeus, I would have been embarrassed and ashamed to confess my sins in front of the very people I had sinned against. Yet, in the presence of Jesus Christ, his inhibitions disappeared and he exhibited complete trust. When Jesus Christ spoke to Zacchaeus, He made him feel like he was the only person in the room!
In this life, we will never know what it was like to meet Jesus Christ in person. Yet, all is not lost. We have God’s Word, the Bible, which is living and active and speaks to our soul. We have the Holy Spirit who indwells within every believer in Jesus Christ, giving us the mind of Him. We can be confident that when we pray in the Name of Jesus, Jesus Christ will always hear us, even our unspoken words, and speak to our souls as if we are the only one in the room. We can implicitly trust Him, even with our very lives, because He is the Rock of our salvation.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.