Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Climb A Tree!

In Luke 19 we find the story of a man named Zacchaeus.  We know from the Scriptures that Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector and was rich.  Not only were chief tax collectors rich, but they were usually corrupt.  Tax collectors required to collect a certain amount of taxes and whatever they were able to get above and beyond that, they were allowed to keep. 

      One day Jesus was passing through Jericho where Zacchaeus was and because of the large crowd, he could not see Him. Zacchaeus climbed up a Sycamore tree to see Him. (Luke 19:4)  We would do well to understand the significance of what Zacchaeus did.  Picture in your mind the scene.  A large crowd has gathered  to see Jesus, and Zacchaeus, likely a well known person climbs up into a tree, what a scene that would make!  Zacchaeus was willing to stand out from the  crowd in order to be able to see Jesus!  We know that because of his faith Jesus called to him and went to stay with him. (Luke 19:5)  After meeting the Lord, Zacchaeus had a repentant heart.  “Lord look,I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore it fourfold.” (Luke 8)  Also the Scriptures tell us that  salvation came to the home of Zacchaeus that day.  (Luke 19:9)

There are so many lessons we can learn from the interaction between our Lord and Zacchaeus.  Often times we can be so bogged down by the cares and enticements of the world that it is very hard to be  able to see Jesus.  As followers of Christ we must be willing to climb up into our “sycamore tree,” to see the Lord if necessary.  Often times we don’t allow ourselves to stand out from the crowd to follow God.  The words of Jesus in 1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him.” 

May we all look at the example of Zacchaeus in this interaction with Jesus and be encouraged to stand in our own sycamore tree to see our Lord.

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