Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he….
If you grew up in the church, you now have this little ear worm. If not, you can YouTube it or not. Just a fun little song about a little man who was going to be part of something BIG.
News of this “Jesus” was spreading like wildfire. New doctrines, blind people being able to see (I just got glasses today so I can so relate to this one) dead people coming back to life, ten lepers leaping and a little man in a tree.
So this attracted Jesus quite the crowd wherever he went. He was rock star famous without the plague of paparazzi.
So Zacchaeus heard the news and wanted to see this man. Would he look like a King? Would he have sparkles around him as he threw miracles left and right? Only one way to find out, but oh man…the crowd was very thick and Zacchaeus had no friend to let him in or save him a place.
He was a tax collector and they were even less loveable back then. They were often greedy and took money unfairly. Ok…maybe things haven’t changed too much.
As I mentioned before, he may have big wealth, but he was a little man and a thinking man. There was a tree overhanging where this “Magic Man” was going to passing by and if he could scurry up it fast enough, he just might get to see this King of Kings!!
So clinging to this limb, Jesus makes his way on the scene. No flowing expensive robes, no crown….but there was something about this man and before Zacchaeus could put his thumb on it, this oddly normal man looked right up at him.
“Come on down, you lucky dog (ok I added the dog part) I’m going to eat at your place.
*awkward silence even from the crickets*
One does not simply go eat with a tax collector. It’s just not done. A normal thief, maybe. A harlot, well that’s still not THAT bad, but a tax collector…oh what will the neighbors say. Zacchaeus, himself, probably fell from that tree in shock.
But together they went to Zacchaeus’ house and all the neighbors were peeking through the windows and probably whispering very loudly about this thing that was happening that you just don’t do.
By the end of the meal, Zacchaeus had pledged to give back everything he had taken unfairly and would never do it again. Told you there was something about this man.
Often times in my own life I feel too little or too bad to actually get close to Jesus. I mean, He’s the King and I’m just little sinful me. I’d totally hide in a tree.
But He sees me, even hiding in a tree and calls me by name to spend time with Him, no matter what the neighbors are going to say. He specifically looks for me and just wants to be with me. Despite my past, despite what I might do tomorrow, despite how horrible I think I am…he just wants my heart. To clean it up, to bring it joy again, to blanket it with peace and whisper hope deep into my core where I can’t truly lose it.
Jesus said “It’s not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick” – Matthew 9:12
Jesus didn’t come here to hang out with the scholars and those “right” with God. He came for the hopeless, helpless, broken hearted, suffering and failing. He came for me. He came for you.