Up a sycamore tree
So he ran ahead and climbed into a sycamore tree beside the road, to watch from there. When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name! “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick! Come down! For I am going to be a guest in your home today!” Zacchaeus hurriedly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.
Luke 19:4-6 (TLB)
Why did Zacchaeus want to see Jesus? Was curiosity the reason? Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector who was so keen to see Jesus he ran ahead of him and the crowd and climbed up a sycamore tree to make sure he saw him.
Scripture tells us that Zacchaeus was short in stature, but he was determined that not even the crowd would hinder his vision of Jesus. Little did he know that Jesus wanted to see him as well – not only see him, Jesus was going to stay at his house that same day! And Jesus not only saw Zacchaeus – he called him by his name!
Of all the trees along the road, why did Zacchaeus choose a sycamore tree? It could be that it was the only type growing there. However, a sycamore tree was known for its strength and protection. Could it be that Zacchaeus knew that once he climbed up the sycamore tree he would be safer than in another type of tree? Did he know that once he climbed into the arms of Jesus he would be safer, more secure and protected and enter into eternal life through him?
Isaiah 43:1 (TLB) tells us: ‘But now the Lord who created you, O Israel, says: Don’t be afraid, for I have ransomed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.’ God, who knew Israel by name, is the same God who knows every one of us and all his creation by name. What a joy and a comfort that should be to each of us.
What lengths would we go to, to see Jesus? When Jesus calls our name do we respond like Zacchaeus, and run to Jesus with excitement and joy (Luke 19:6)? Zacchaeus climbed down from the sycamore tree and took Jesus to his house without question or hesitation. Jesus wants to come into each of our homes (lives) and brings salvation with him. May we respond as Zacchaeus did with joy and without hesitation.
Our loving heavenly Father, grant that we will be forever grateful for our calling,
and respond joyfully to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Study by Dennis Payne
About the writer:
Dennis Payne is a Deacon in the Central London congregation
of Grace Communion International.
Grace Communion International Central London
Indian YMCA Student Hostel
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square
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