“He’s coming. He’s coming. I need to get closer to see Him.” Zacchaeus tried to push between people on the outskirts of the crowd.
An elbow came down on his forehead, knocking him to the ground. “Back off, buzzard. Jesus isn’t here for you of all people.”
Zacchaeus stood up and brushed himself off. The sound of the crowd told him Jesus was almost to were he was.
He looked down the road to see if there was a way in there. A fig tree caught his eye. “That’s it.”
He ran at the tree, jumped at the lowest branch, grabbed it and swung his legs to the next branch. From there he pulled himself up above the throng of flesh by the road.
All attention was on the man leading His disciples to Jerusalem. Anticipation was running at an all-time high.
Zacchaeus was unimpressed with his first sight of Jesus. Nothing made Him appear regal except His confidence.
Jesus stopped in the road and looked right at the man in the tree. “Zacchaeus, come down here. I must eat at your house today.”
How does He know my name? Doesn’t matter now. Zacchaeus dropped to the ground and brushed himself off. “Right this way. I’ll have the best meal set for You.”
The house had never been so full of people. Jesus came with His disciples. Some others came in behind them. Zacchaeus closed the door before there was only room for everyone to stand.
The meal wasn’t as exquisite as Zacchaeus had hoped, but it was good. He thought he recognized the man with disheveled hair. Soon a man who looked much like him stood behind him. “Bart, I’ve been looking all over for you. They told me you left to follow Jesus. Who led you here?”
Bart smiled so broad food fell out of his mouth. “I can lead myself now. Jesus made me to see. I can see you. I’m going to my first Passover with Jesus, the man who gave me sight.”
Food now fell from Zacchaeus’s mouth. He stood. “Jesus, I give half of all I have to the poor and will return anything taken wrongly with interest.”
Jesus smiled. “Salvation has come to this house today. I have come to seek and save those who are lost.”
A cheer rose. Jesus sat and faced the crowd. Silence filled the house.
“A nobleman prepared to go to a distant land to receive a kingdom, but before he left he gave ten servants a talent each. He was gone a long time. Upon returning he summoned the servants. The first one produced ten talents from his profits. ‘Well done. You shall rule over ten cities in my kingdom.’ A second servant brought five talents to the nobleman. ‘You shall rule over five cities.’ A third servant came and bowed at the nobleman’s feet. He unwrapped his talent and handed it to the nobleman. ‘You worthless servant, you should have at least drawn interest with this. Take it from him and give it to the man with ten talents.’ ‘But,’ some protested, ‘he already has ten.’ ‘To those who have more will be given to them while those who don’t have it will be taken from them. Now, bring the other seven and have them executed before me since they don’t want me to rule over them.'”
A funny thing happened on the way to Jerusalem. A man who found himself vertically challenged climbed a tree and found himself feeding Jesus and His disciples. True story.
A glimpse is all Zacchaeus was after. A life change is what he received. Jesus has a way of doing that for those who seek Him with their whole might.
An after dinner parable was offered to quell suspicions of an imminent kingdom being established.
Jericho has an interesting past. The first city conquered in the promised land was won in the most unorthodox way: marching and yelling. God did the heavy part of the conquest.
The city was rebuilt under a curse from Joshua. The first-born son of the man building it would die at the beginning of the project, the last-born at the end. Hiel, the Bethelite, fulfilled that curse.
Jericho was used by both Elijah and Elisha, as well as other prophets. Jesus was baptized by His cousin John, then tempted by Satan near here.
The good, the bad and the ugly occurred here. God was glorified through it all.
What extent would you go to just to see Jesus?
Zacchaeus wasn’t a young man. His wealth meant he likely wasn’t physically fit. That tree was his only hope at a once in a lifetime opportunity.
He didn’t mean to, but he got Jesus’s attention. It changed his life and eternal destiny.
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What tree do you need to climb today?
Do you need to stand on your accomplishments that keep your family on the back burner of your life?
Should you conquer that pride of yours as a means of looking past yourself to see God’s Son?
Is there a chemical dependency that’s keeping you from getting just a glimpse of your only hope of recovery?
When you search for Jesus with all you’ve got He will come to dine with you. He will ask you to open your life to His opportunity for a new start.
A new life awaits you. Are you willing to take that step toward Jesus today? He’ll stop everything to attend to you.
If it takes a miracle He’s fully capable of that. If you require a story He’ll come up with the best one to fit that bill. He’ll make others uncomfortable just to meet you where you are so He can change you.
Perhaps you feel like you’re out on a limb right now. Jesus is about to pass you by. What will you do when He stops and calls your name?
Zacchaeus had few friends in Jericho. Jesus became one of them.
Let Him be yours today.
I’ll see you later. Wade