Two men encounter Jesus. One was a rich ruler (Luke 18) and one was a rich tax collector (Luke 19). Wealth was their idol. The ruler appeared to be good. The tax man was no good. The ruler asked Jesus about eternal life. The short tax man climbed a tree to see Jesus. Jesus invited the ruler to follow Him and promised better treasure if he would get rid of his idol. Jesus called Zacchaeus by name and went to his house, and Zacchaeus got rid of his idol to follow Jesus. The ruler kept his idol and walked away sad. Zacchaeus gave it away and was joyful. The ruler missed salvation. Zacchaeus found salvation. The ruler couldn’t imagine anything better than his treasure. Zacchaeus tasted and saw that the Lord is good. The ruler left Jesus, still rich and still empty. Zacchaeus was left with better riches and full. The ruler was the same man he was before Jesus. Zacchaeus would never be the same after Jesus.
If you have had an “encounter” with Jesus, which one are you? Are you like the ruler, still clinging to your idol and still sad? Or are you like Zacchaeus, clinging to Christ and full of joy? Did you encounter Jesus or did Jesus encounter you?