As a child, I loved to climb trees. The higher I climbed, the more I could see. Occasionally, in search of a better view, I might inch out along a branch until I felt it bend under my weight. Not surprisingly, my tree-climbing days are over. I suppose it isn’t very safe—or dignified.
Zacchaeus, a wealthy man, set aside his dignity (and perhaps ignored his safety) when he climbed a tree one day in Jericho. Jesus was traveling through the city, and Zacchaeus wanted to get a look at Him. However, “because he was short he could not see over the crowd” (Luke 19:3). Fortunately, those things did not stop him from seeing and even talking with Christ. Zacchaeus’s plan worked! And when he met Jesus, his life was changed forever. “Salvation has come to this house,” Jesus said (v. 9).
We too can be prevented from seeing Jesus. Pride can blind us from seeing Him as the Wonderful Counselor. Anxiety keeps us from knowing Him as the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6). Hunger for status and stuff can prevent us from seeing Him as the true source of satisfaction—the Bread of Life (John 6:48).
What are you willing to do to get a better view of Jesus? Any sincere effort to get closer to Him will have a good result. God rewards people who earnestly seek Him (Heb. 11:6).
Thank You Jesus for all that You are. Show me more of Yourself as I read the Bible and pray. Help me to pursue You with all of my heart and mind.
To strengthen your faith in God, seek the face of God.
Luke 19:1–3 tells us five things about a man named Zacchaeus. He lived in Jericho, he was a chief tax collector, he was wealthy, he was short, and he wanted to see Jesus. Most people know he was short, but that may be the least important fact of the five. Zacchaeus was likely the superintendent of customs for Jericho—an important and lucrative post. Jericho exported a great deal of balsam wood and was situated on a major trade route connecting Jerusalem to the East. Both of these facts—Zacchaeus’s residence in Jericho and his vocation—would account for his wealth. But ultimately wealth cannot provide the salvation and satisfaction that only Jesus can give.