Zacchaeus was a wee little man
And a wee little man was he
He climbed up in a sycamore tree
For the Lord he wanted to see
And as the Savior passed that way
He looked up in that tree
And He said, “Zacchaeus, you come down!
For I’m going to your house today
For I’m going to your house to stay”
This little song from my childhood rang through my mind this morning as I contemplated a devotion follow up to Jennifer Andes – Right Where He Wants You Post. Usually the story of Zacchaeus is used to show us that God can use anyone – even a well-hated tax collector to demonstrate grace and salvation. No one liked the selfish man Zacchaeus seemed to be only coming around to collect money and probably skimming his own share to pocket. He wasn’t a tall man and maybe he suffered from “little guy syndrome” making up for his lack of physical stature with a big ego-filled attitude. Who knows? We also don’t know why he sought to see Jesus physically walking the streets in Jericho that day – but he did.
Knowing that he wasn’t tall enough to see over the large gathered crowd of “deserving” seekers, Zacchaeus determined that he would have to climb a sycamore tree to view Jesus over the heads of the others. And like the song and Luke 19:1-9 describe, when the Lord walked by he called Zacchaeus out of the tree and followed him home as an invited guest for dinner. The peopled talked. Like I said, Zacchaeus was not well-liked. I’m sure they whispered, “Why on earth is Jesus going home with that jerk?”
“Oh, probably because he is rich and has a big house.” or “He has the best servants to provide all the best food.” or maybe even, “I cannot believe Jesus isn’t coming to our house instead, we’ve prepared for weeks!” in an offended tone.
Either way, Jesus went to visit with Zacchaeus and it changed him. Zacchaeus was a changed man. Proving again the Love of Christ is for all. Zacchaeus went on to tell of this love and bring others to the fold of Christ and many lives were changed. The Kingdom grew.
I’m saying let’s dig deeper. Sure this story started with the little man – Zacchaeus, but even before Zacchaeus there was a tree. And before the tree, there was a seed. God knew one day this wee little man would need to climb that very tree in that very place and somehow a seed would have to be planted in that very spot. It would have to be protected and cultivated and cared for. It would have to grow big enough to climb. So that Zacchaeus would climb, Jesus would call, and lives would change. It all started – with the seed.