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!”