A Place for Holy Hurry

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” Luke 19:5  ESV

Seldom in the scriptures do we see God encouraging people to be in a hurry.  More often than not we find Him speaking to His harried creation about doing the opposite – the necessity of slowing down and waiting.  “Be still” He says, “and know that I am God.”  “Wait on the Lord . . . wait I say on the Lord.”  (Psalms 46:10, 27:14)

Even Jesus, despite the frenzy around Him, never allowed Himself to be pressured into being in a hurry.  He always had time to pause in His journey from place to place to give attention to the no-name people who pressed upon Him with their needs.  

Interruptions for Him were the order of the day and it often confounded His disciples and those who followed Him.  Invariably His priorities as evidenced by how He chose to spend His time were counterintuitive to the conventional wisdom of someone they thought had come to set up an earthly kingdom.  Why should such an important person on a mission to rule the world be lavishing time on little children or blind beggars like Bartimaeus?  (Matthew 19:14 & Mark 10:46-52)

But, being in hurry obviously makes sense when it comes to doing an act of kindness or more importantly, saving a person’s life.  In that regard it is an imperative since time is of the essence.  Ironically therefore, even for Jesus, it could be said that He was in a hurry to take the time to pause.  This sanctified kind of hurry to do good, might be termed being in a “holy hurry.”

When you stop to think about it then, being in a holy hurry certainly has its place.  And that brings us back to the story of Zacchaeus.  Jesus was in the midst of another very busy day as the He was passing through the crowded streets of Jericho when He noticed the diminutive Zacchaeus perched in a tree trying to get a glimpse of Him.  Without hesitancy He stopped and called the man out by name, doubtless startling him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.”  In other words, “Z, it’s high time you quit sitting on the sidelines being a spectator, and hurry down to come and spend time with Me!”  Or phrased even more simply:  “Hurry! Let’s hang out!”

The word “hurry” here comes from the Greek word speudo which literally means to hasten, make haste or to speed.  It is only used five other times in the entire New Testament and interestingly enough two of those times share the same holy hurry invitation to be with Jesus as was issued to Zaccheaus!  When the shepherds heard the angels announce the birth of Jesus we are told they “hurried off and found Mary, Joseph and the baby who was lying in a manger.”  (Luke 2:16)  And Peter in his second epistle exhorts his readers to look forward to the day of Jesus return and “hurry it along.” (2 Peter 3:12)

Jesus so ardently wanted to spend time with Zacchaeus and “abide” with him at his house, that He urged him to “hurry.”  I believe Jesus feels the same way about each of us.  He wants us to “hurry and come down” from our perches that distance ourselves from Him so that He can spend time with us. 

When two people love each other, it is not uncommon for them to urge one another to hurry whenever they so they can have more time together.  Are you up a tree and sense the lover of your soul beckoning you to hasten to come down?  What kind of holy hurry is He urging of you?

Zacchaeus’ response is instructive in that it was immediate and wholehearted.  He hurriedly reprioritized everything about his life to make time for Jesus and put Him at the center.  

What does the term “holy hurry” mean to you?  How can you see applying it in your life?  One lifelong commitment for me has been “No Bible, No Breakfast.”  What about you?  

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1 thought on “A Place for Holy Hurry”

  1. I take this oppertunity to confess, I often get delayed in collecting daily manna. Even some day, I miss out & feel weak, frustrating. pray that I stick to the proper sequence, prioritiy. manna first & then the routine Work. God bless for the insight.

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