Religion tells us that first we must get our house in order. Repent or else! But what does Jesus say? He says to whoever hears his knock and opens the door: “I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Rev 3:20). In other words, “Let’s have a feast!” But what about the wretchedness, the moral poverty, the spiritual blindness? What about the house being a moral mess with everything in disarray? Would Jesus not feel more comfortable if he first cleaned house and then sat down to eat? The pattern of Jesus’ life on earth gives insight into God’s method of transformation. He knows that you, like Zacchaeus, will not be changed by performance but by his presence. The power of his love, the joy of his presence, and the peace coming from his acceptance are far more capable of changing the human heart than rebuke, censure, condemnation, and rejection.
The Birthright, 2010, Zondervan, 94