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“Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.’ So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.”– Luke 19: 1-6
I have had many conversations with people who have been trying to figure out God. Many of them have had experiences with Christians and have been in church many times, but have yet to have an experience with Jesus. They have seen how Christians live and have watched their own parents go to church, loving people, and serving their community. However, they never really had their personal connection with Christ occur.
I think, more often than not, people can become frustrated with their walk due to the fact they have not been able to own their relationship with Jesus. You know, that experience that one can only read about in scripture. I like to refer to it as the Zacchaeus moment.
Imagine what happened at that moment Jesus entered Jericho and Zacchaeus heard the commotion. He hears the name “Jesus” and flies up a tree to catch a better glimpse. He sees everyone surrounding the one they say is the “Messiah” and wonders, “What if this truly is the One we have been waiting for?”
So, he climbs higher to see this man who has done many miracles and has been standing up against false teachers. He is doing great things for others, but would He do the same thing for him?
Then, Jesus looks up at Zacchaeus in the tree and says “come down immediately”. Imagine the shock, imagine the adrenaline, and imagine the confusion. “Wait? Did He just call me by name?”
Now, this is the decision point. Zacchaeus had to decide if he was going to step down all the way, partially, or just look at Jesus and say “No thanks, but I’m glad you’re working for everyone else around me.” This is where the rubber meets the road and he had to choose if he was willing to take the risk and get off the tree or be safe just looking from afar.
This is where I have been before and, I believe, many others are as well. People trying to find their place in God’s story, but unwilling to step all the way down. They like what they hear and see, but cannot get themselves to risk stepping down.
The struggle is getting past the feeling of doubt. The struggle is getting past the pride inside saying “He works for others, but I have no need of Him.” I can only imagine, but I am pretty sure Zacchaeus had that same struggle inside.
Then, there was the turning point in the story where he came off “at once” in order to get closer to Christ. He knew He was worth the risk to jump off that tree and join in the journey with Jesus (that’s a lot of J’s in a row). He had to take the leap and humble himself enough to allow Christ at His table.
Where are you at in this? Are you struggling with trusting Christ’s call to come off your tree and join Him or are you willing to leap off the branch? He is calling all of us to just eat with Him. He wants us to allow Him to sit at our table and hear Him out. He is willing to join us in our mess in order to have our lives transformed to serve and love in His name. He wants to make our lives complete.
We just need to stop looking from up high, step down in trust, and allow Him to reveal Who He really is.
Come on down and meet your healer, reconciler, and friend.
QUESTION: What has kept you from stepping down from your tree?