Written by Tatum-Lee Louw
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which is lost” (Luke 19:10).
At the time when Jesus passed through Jericho, he had established a reputation that preceded Him. He had raised Lazarus from the dead and had restored sight to a blind man named Bartimaeus, so when he entered the city of Jericho, the atmosphere was filled with expectation. People lined the streets hoping to get a glimpse of Jesus.
One such man was Zacchaeus, the rich tax collector. Physically Zacchaeus was a very short, timid man;
“And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature” (Luke 19:3).
Imagine his despair, going to see Jesus, the man whom everyone was speaking about, but not actually getting to see Him, not only because of the massive crowd but also because he was just too short to see the King over everyone else’s shoulder. One would expect this ‘sinner’ as they describe him in the latter passage, to have walked away the minute he weighed his odds of seeing Jesus, but Zacchaeus found another way to get to the Master.
“So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way, and when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him ‘Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house’”(Luke 19:4).
The people in the crowd were shocked! You see, Zacchaeus was one of the most hated men in all of Jericho. Mainly because Zacchaeus was a little man with a great big problem! He was a thief and a cheat! He was the chief tax collector and he had become very rich because he cheated people by collecting more taxes than they owed and keeping it for himself. The people could not believe that Jesus would go to the home of a man like that, but He did.
Zacchaeus did not know Christ but look at Jesus calling him by his name. What was it that made Jesus notice Zacchaeus in the Sycamore tree? Was it that he went to such extraordinary measures to catch the King’s attention? Did his desperation have a voice?
How many times have we allowed our own ‘restrictions’ to get in the way of desperately seeking God? Whether it is our physical ailments, emotional constraints or even our ‘small’ thinking’ that disqualify us from going to extraordinary measures to get the attention of our Savior. Interestingly, Jesus did not only know Zacchaeus name, but He was all too familiar with his situation as well. Not only did this man get to see Jesus, but he invited Him into his situation, hosting Him as a guest in his home.
Jesus looked beyond what people saw in this man and honored his faith. Zacchaeus’ desperation had a voice. Today, know that God sees you, the bible speaks about Jehovah El-Roi which means, ‘The God who sees’. How desperate are you to get a glimpse of His glory?
If you were reading this and don’t know Christ, remember this, just as Jesus had a divine appointment with Zacchaeus, a sinner, He has set aside this time for you as well. There is a way out for you today my friend, a more excellent way. If this is you, please say this prayer with me:
“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.”