Have you ever sung the Zaccheus song with your little ones? You know, the short tax collector fellow? I was just singing the song with the kids yesterday and it struck a chord in me that I hadn’t heard before.
The story goes that Zaccheus couldn’t see Jesus because of the crowd (Luke 19). Isn’t that true in our lives? Sometimes the things that crowd my life cause me to not be able to see Jesus. Zaccheus also couldn’t see Jesus because of his physical limitations. That has been true for me with each extremely nauseous pregnancy. Sometimes physical limitations get in the way of my seeing Him as well.
Normally, I just stand there and moan and become depressed about not being able to see Jesus in something or someone or some area of my life. Yesterday, I was convicted and convinced to do what Zaccheus did–climb up a tree!! Zaccheus just had to see Jesus. He did what it took to get there. It might not have been that easy to get up that old tree. Just how do I do the same?
I think it has to do with a shift of focus. Instead of looking down at the ground, or looking to the crowd, we need to get a higher perspective. To do that, we need to courageously do something different and start climbing. It’s not always easy climbing a tree, but we’ve just got to see Jesus! We need to make an effort to see Jesus when it seems impossible that we could even get a glimpse of Him. Instead of giving up, we need to start climbing up.
Jesus saw Zaccheus long before he saw Jesus. He also saw Zaccheus’ determination to get a glimpse of Him. And then Jesus made the effort to get through the crowd and go straight to Zaccheus. You see, when we draw near to God, He draws near to us. It’s a promise (James 4:8).
When did Zaccheus’ heart begin to change? I think it started at the bottom of the tree. He decided in his heart that he just had to see Jesus no matter what. He needed a new view of life. And he was never the same for it.
When the crowd seems to press in against us, or our world seems too crowded for us to see Jesus, or when physical limitations hinder us, we must draw near to Him with every effort. We must go to the Rock that is higher and see things from His higher perspective.
Jesus told Zaccheus to come on down from out of that tree and walk with Him to his home. He wanted to go to Zaccheus’ home. When we draw near to Jesus and He draws near to us, Jesus wants to come to our home, too. When we invite Him to commune with us in our home, He begins to change our heart. Those seemingly impossible “wicked tax collector” hearts will begin to change. Our heart changes from thinking people “owe me” to the opposite of giving back even more than they deserve.
When we make the effort to see Jesus, our efforts will be rewarded with not only a glimpse of Him, but an offer to sit at His table and commune with Him. And like Zaccheus, Jesus will change our hearts and cause us to rejoice and we will begin to generously serve Him again. We may even give away all that we have in time, effort, and resources in order to bring others to Jesus as well.
Can you see Him today? There’s room in the tree for you! Start climbing! Jesus will be found by you, for those who seek Him with all their heart will find Him. There He is–waiting to call you down and come to your home and change your heart … can you see Him now?
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