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.
I love the grace that Jesus extends in this story about Jesus and Zacchaeus. It's offensive. Zach was the chief tax collector, the most despised and unpopular man in the entire city, yet Jesus wanted to be seen with him and wanted to hang out at his house. Jesus is unmoved by how the crowd will perceive Him or judge Him for associating with Zach.
I love Zacchaeus' passion to meet Jesus...it says he was "seeking" and then he "ran" and "climbed." Jesus was so shocking to the norm, in carrying the good news of a new way of living, that He drew that type of passion out of people and caused that response in them! And yes, people felt like they could come to Him, that they could run to Him — Jesus exudes acceptance! That's the kind of Man, the kind of Savior, we serve and love! He has open arms and an open hand. And He is the same now, for we can feel free to run to Him, no matter what!