Luke 19:5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” (NIV)
I’ve always been a short person, so I know how Zacchaeus must have felt when he couldn’t see above the crowd to catch a glimpse of Jesus. I’ve been in more than a few places and situations where I have struggled to see what’s happening at a concert, movie, or even church service because of a larger person standing or sitting in front of me. Sometimes I move to the right or left just to find a clear view; on other occasions, I just sigh and sit quietly, choosing instead to listen to what’s going on.
I don’t know if I would have climbed a tree to get a better view of Jesus, although I have stood on benches and walls to watch parades and other public spectacles. It seems that the wee man was so desperate to see Jesus that he was willing to look ridiculous, after all, it’s usually children who climb trees to get a better view. I can imagine that the people around him laughed at Zacchaeus, diminishing his pride and self-esteem. Perhaps some of them felt like he deserved to be humiliated because he was despised for being a tax-collector and colluding with the Romans.
I love what Jesus does to restore Zacchaeus’s dignity, as well as his soul. Our Savior does not laugh at the short tax-collector or rebuke him for working for the enemy. Christ doesn’t even ask to come to his house – look at the verse again – Jesus actually insists on going to his home. It’s a wonderful moment of acceptance and Zacchaeus responds immediately by climbing down and welcoming Christ gladly.
This is an event which is filled with God’s love and grace. It reminds all of us – short, medium, or tall – that Jesus actively seeks to restore us to God’s Kingdom. All we have to do is to welcome Him gladly into our hearts and homes, which is where salvation begins and never ends.
Point to Ponder
Am I willing to let Jesus into my heart? If I welcome Him into my life, how will He change me?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your grace and acceptance. We know we are unworthy of those blessings, but we are also delighted that You are willing to grant them to us. Enable us to extend this blessing to all whom we encounter today. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. You can read the church website at www.erinpresbyterian.org. You can also email John at Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is one of John’s tree drawings called ‘Season Finale.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: Tree.