Luke 19:1-4 – Jesus went on to the city of Jericho and was passing through it. There was a rich man named Zacchaeus. He was a leader of those who gathered taxes. Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus but he could not because so many people were there and he was a short man. He ran ahead and got up into a sycamore tree to see Him. Jesus was going by that way. (NLV)
A few days ago, I reread the story of Zacchaeus' encounter with Jesus. Seeing (in my mind's eye) Zacchaeus perched on a tree limb brought back memories of my tomboy childhood. Most of the children in my neighbourhood were boys. Those boys taught me how to shoot "steelies" in a game of marbles. They taught me how to step on empty evaporated milk cans in just the right way so that the cans clung to my shoes, allowing me to run down the sidewalk making a wonderful loud clanging noise. They also taught me how to climb trees.
It has been many years since I wanted to climb a tree to seek a vantage point, but reading Zacchaeus' story, I thought how much we are like him, how much we want to have a closer relationship with Jesus. We want to find a place above the crowd where we can see Him. We long for Him to extend His hand and say, "Quick, come down, for I am going to be a guest in your home today." (Luke 19:5, TLB)
Though most of us aren't "notorious sinners", as was Zacchaeus, we know all too well the wrongs we have done, and the words we have said. Like Zacchaeus, we need to have intimate fellowship with Jesus. We want Him to be a guest in our home, and we long to hear Him reassure us with those same beautiful words, "This shows that salvation has come to this home today." (Luke 19:9, TLB)
What a blessing it is to experience Jesus' presence. We can find a place away from the crowd where we can simply be with Him. He is just a prayer away.
Prayer: Thank You, Father, for those quiet moments away from the crowd, where we can talk with You and with Your Son, Jesus. Thank You for forgiving our sins, and for reassuring us that through Your Son, salvation has come to our homes today. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.