“A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus… He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him” (Luke 19:2-4, NIV).
“The issue isn’t whether God reaches out to us– it’s whether we choose to respond to him. He will not violate our will– the choice is ours.” – Rebecca Manley Pippert
This post is not about short people. But I’m glad I have your attention 🙂
Being a short person myself, I understand how Zacchaeus must have felt, not being able to see the man he wanted to see; I understand his need do anything necessary to accomplish his goal. My man climbed a tree!! It be like that sometimes.
Again, this is not about Zac, or the plight of short people; this is about Jesus and his willingness to accept and dine with a “sinner”. We must understand that during this time, Jewish people hated Jewish tax collectors because it was as if they were supporting the enemy– the tax collectors were uncle Tom characters, if you will. Zacchaeus had it rough because he was the chief tax collector, meaning he was really really really hated by the Jewish people, he was marginalized even though he was wealthy; he was the enemy. Yet, our darling Jesus singled him out, no doubt with a smile on His face! Jesus accepted the marginalized, we know this; Zacchaeus was no different. Jesus went to this “sinner’s” house, dined with him, and pronounced salvation into his house! Imagine Jesus walking alongside Zacchaeus! Jesus didn’t allow the mutter and murmur of others to stop Him from accepting another person into His kingdom!
We should follow this example. Let us dare to allow the people who are not meant to be allowed into our circles be in our circles! Let us dare to accept people for who they are, love on them, and watch how natural their response to start living life in accordance to God’s will will be– notice how just the presence of Jesus prompted Zacchaeus to turn from his corrupt ways.
My friends, we are not called to be converters; we have been commissioned to be like Jesus, to go into the world, seek out the lost, preach the Gospel, and love people the way Jesus loves us! The rest will follow naturally. What Jesus did was unacceptable to those who couldn’t see the need for others to experience the love and grace of God as well! I pray we will never get to the point where we start choosing who should or shouldn’t come to Jesus; everyone, EVERY SINGLE PERSON is welcome, even short people like myself who need an extra boost just to see Him!
But remember, being welcomed by Jesus and into His kingdom does not mean remaining the same! He wants us to come as we are, but He doesn’t want us to stay as we were!