He entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax-collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.’ So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him.
Reflection by Janet Derby
Zacchaeus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he. It’s difficult to read this story without that song running through my mind. It turns this into an almost comical story and can sometimes get in the way of appreciating Zacchaeus. Yet, he is someone worth emulating. Despite the obstacles, he works to ensure he is able to see Jesus. The story doesn’t tell us why, but I wonder about it. Had he heard that Jesus had been critical of the rich and powerful? If so, did that give him pause and make him wonder if Jesus would disapprove of him as well? Whether or not he had those fears, he not only climbs the tree to get a view of Jesus, but also welcomes him into his home.
Gracious God, Thank you for all those who show us ways to know you. Help me to overcome the obstacles that prevent me from seeing you and welcoming you into my life. Amen.