If you’ve ever had to do cold calling for sales, you know that step one is to try to get past the gatekeeper. The person who answers the phone at a business has the job of making sure only good calls get through. They try to protect the boss from as many sales calls as possible in order to protect their time. The disciples fell into this type of thinking when it came to Jesus. When the little children wanted to see Him, they tried to prevent it. I’m sure there were thousands who wanted to get close to Him, so they adopted a gatekeeper mentality.
In Luke 18:35-43, Jesus was about to walk into Jericho. The disciples and a huge crowd were around Him. A blind man heard the commotion and called out to Jesus. The crowd tried to hush him, but he got louder. Finally Jesus heard him and asked him what he wanted. He said, “Lord, I want to see!” (NLT) Jesus healed him and then went into Jericho going throughout the town. As he passed down one street, there was another man who wanted to see, but he couldn’t because of the crowd. Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus. When Jesus saw him, He offered to go to his house. The same crowd of Jesus’ followers was displeased and let Jesus know it. Zacchaeus wasn’t worthy of Jesus’ time or grace in their eyes.
Jesus responded in Luke 19:9-10, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” It was a reminder to them and to us that we are not His gatekeepers. Our job isn’t to keep people from Him, but to lead them to Him. We must lose the mentality that sees people as unworthy or beyond His grace. We all have a need for it and He died so that none would perish. Just because someone sins differently than you, it doesn’t disqualify them from the forgiveness He offers. We need to lose the gatekeeper mentality and usher as many people as we can to Him.