“He was seeking to see who Jesus was … So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way” (Luke 19:3-4).
Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. Although tax collectors weren’t particularly popular in Israel, Zacchaeus was probably well known in the city of Jericho and had a certain reputation to keep up. But in today’s story, he doesn’t seem to bother about that. He has heard a lot about Jesus, and wants to see Him now He is in the city. But since many other people have the same idea, Zacchaeus hardly gets a chance to see Him! Then he does something unusual and ridiculous: he climbs a tree. Zacchaeus probably thought nobody would notice him up there, but Jesus does! He publicly tells Zacchaeus to come down, since Jesus wants to stay in his house that day. And Zacchaeus does so, he receives Him joyfully. The conclusion of the story is that this man and his house find salvation.
For us too, following Jesus might involve risking our reputation, risking mockery, or thinking out of the box. Following Jesus can be scary and requires us to rethink our priorities. But it is worth it! The salvation God offers us, is far more important than people’s respect and esteem.
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