“He tries to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going that way.” -Luke 19:3-4
The story of Zacchaeus is one of the better known Bible stories. It’s one that we are taught right from childhood. Shoot, there was even a song we sang about him. I can still remember it to this day;
“Zacchaeus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he. He climbed up in a sycamore tree, for the Lord he wanted to see…”
As I was recently reading this story in my Bible study time, it struck me in a way that it really hasn’t done before.
Zacchaeus, was desperate to see Jesus. Not just the regular kind of desperate, but the “I’ll do anything” kind of desperate…
So desperate that he, not only climbed a tree, but he “ran ahead of the crowd and then climbed a tree so that he could see Jesus.
Never mind talking to him, Zacchaeus was desperate just to lay his eyes upon this man called Jesus. He expected nothing more and would accept nothing less.
As I was reading this, a thought struck me, “How far am I willing to go just to look at Jesus. Forget talking to him…Am I willing to get out of my comfort zone and make a spectacle of myself just to look at him for a moment?”
I can only imagine the crowd he had to push through, the eyes watching him in puzzlement as he sprinted to the tree ahead of everyone and then proceeding to climb it. I’m sure there were at least a few whispers about his unusual behavior.
And yet, I think that it was because of the dedication and desperation he showed that made Jesus notice him and decide that he “must be a guest” in his home. (Luke 19:5)
How far are we, as Christians, willing to go to see Jesus with no expectation of anything else? Not only that, but how far are we willing to go so that others would get to see him?
People in the North American Church have become so complacent and apathetic and would rather just sit in comfort rather than get out of their comfort zones and make what others might call a “spectacle”.
I believe that North America has come to the point where a spectacle might be the only thing that catches the eyes of people.
Because culture has become so enamored with literally parading around their immorality and sin and putting it on display for all the world to see.
We need to be like Zacchaeus and be willing to get out of our comfort zone and run ahead of the crowd and climb the proverbial tree so that Jesus’ love and grace will be put on display-which is exactly what happened when he spoke to Zacchaeus.
Zacchaeus was a tax collector, and tax collectors had the reputation or being dishonest and being thieves, yet he-the lowest of the low in society’s eyes- was the one whom Jesus singled out. Which, in turn, put His love on display for all to see.
So, I ask you this, how far are you willing to go to see Jesus? And how far are you willing to go so that others can see his love through your pursuit of seeking him?