Luke 19:2-4 And there was a man named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector, and rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way.
It seems we all know about Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he, he climbed up in the sycamore tree for the Lord he wanted to see….
The question is, what do we learn from this? That small people have trouble seeing anything? That if you want to see a parade you ought to get there early enough to get a good seat? That trees are a good place to see things? That People want to see Jesus? Lots of good questions….
The first thing you need to know is that in Jesus time, rich, important, grown up, people just don’t climb trees, its not dignified. Its one of those things that you can do as a child, but then you stop. Zacchaeus was rich and important, but he did climb a tree, which tells us that seeing Jesus was really important, more important than his pride or his dignity. Zacchaeus not only saw Jesus, but Jesus saw him, and Jesus invited himself to dinner at Zacchaeus’s house. No warning, no time for preparation, and no way was Zacchaeus going to offer excuses, for this was a great honor. Would we be ready to receive
Jesus right now?
Some people grumbled, for they didn’t think Zacchaeus was a good man, he was a sinner, all tax collectors were sinners, and Zacchaeus wasn’t just a tax collector, he was a chief tax collector. Why was Jesus spending time with this person, why was he eating at His house? Jesus answers this question – Jesus tells us that he came to seek and to save the lost. If you don’t think you’re lost, then you don’t think you need Jesus, and its hard to save people who don’t want to be saved, or rescue people who keep running back to peril.
But the important thing was how glad Zacchaeus was that Jesus had seen him. He knew that this was a great treasure and so he did 2 things, first he gave away half his wealth, gave it to the poor. Second, if he had wronged anyone in the collection of taxes, he would not only pay them back, but pay they 4 times the amount.
Seeing Jesus changed his life, Jesus was now his chief treasure, and he was a changed man. So, the question for us is rather simple – does our meeting Jesus change us?
Do we need a savior?
Do we want to be found?
Do we want to be forgiven?
Do we want peace with God?
What are we willing to give up?
Does the faith God works in our heart change us?
And, How do we show our gratitude for God’s gift to us in Jesus?