He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.
One of the favorite chapel songs of the preschoolers at Faith is a song that I’ve known since childhood:
Zacchaeus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he. He climbed up in a sycamore tree, for the Lord he wanted to see – and as the Lord came passing by, He looked up in the tree and said ‘Zacchaeus, you come down! For I’m going to your house today!’
I love how Zacchaeus reacts to the presence of the Lord. He wants to see Jesus, and he’s too short to see over the crowds. From the song I have the image of him being extremely short, but let’s be honest, he might have even been of average height. In a big crowd, it’s hard to see without bleachers, isn’t it? So Zacchaeus improvised, climbing up a tree. He might not have been the only one sitting in the branches, but he was the one that Jesus addressed directly.
Jesus doesn’t just talk to this man, who was a tax collector, a sinner (insert collective gasp here)! Nope, He tells Zacchaeus, “I’m coming to your house. Let’s go!” Only the Lord of Life could get away with inviting Himself into someone’s house.
That’s what Jesus does with all of us, isn’t it? He invites Himself into our hearts, into our lives. We can slam the door in His face, push Him out, act like He’s being rude and invasive. We can begrudgingly let Him inside the door while we run around trying to hide all of our flaws from Him (news flash – He already knows them). Or we can joyfully welcome His presence in our lives, treat Him like an honored guest. The one thing we can’t do is go out and get Him. He’s already standing at the door knocking.