UP A TREE
Luke 19:6-7 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”
Zacchaeus had been rejected for years, he was tired of being alone, despised, and rich.
He was miserable and didn’t want to be miserable any more. Zacchaeus was jewish but worked as a tax collector for the hated Romans. He was worse than a dog to the jews. He was hated and treated as a traitor to the land of Israel. For the first time in years he had some excitement. He had heard that the friend of sinners and tax collectors was coming to town. Maybe he could catch a glimpse of Jesus, maybe someone would love him and forgive him of his miserable life. The day had come, Jesus of Nazareth was making His way through town. Zacchaeus was going to do whatever it took to see Him for himself. Before he realized what was happening he was literally up a tree. In the excitement of the moment all dignity went out the door. Zacchaeus was looking at Jesus from his tree top perch. The next thing he knew he had a very special guest at his home. Jesus went home with Zach to have lunch. Here is Matthew Henry’s thought about this strange event.
“Zacchaeus was overjoyed to have such an honor put upon his house: He made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully; and his receiving him into his house was an indication and token of his receiving him into his heart. Note, When Christ calls to us we must make haste to answer his calls; and when he comes to us we must receive him joyfully. Lift up your heads, O ye gates. We may well receive him joyfully who brings all good along with him, and, when he takes possession of the soul, opens springs of joy there which shall flow to eternity. How often has Christ said to us, Open to me, when we have, with the spouse, made excuses! Zaccheus’s forwardness to receive Christ will shame us. We have not now Christ to entertain in our houses, but we have his disciples, and what is done to them he takes as done to himself.”
What a day for Zach. He found his hard, callous heart melted by the love of the Son of God. This holy man loved him. Zach found himself wanting to change. He was going to pay back all he stole and more with interest and give half of his wealth to the poor. Salvation had come to visit this home. Not only Zach’s home, can you imagine the shock when the hated tax collector began to give the money back to the people he stole from? His testimony spread and effected the whole region. Salvation was visiting Jericho. The joyful sound of redemption began to resound from the life of Zacchaeus. Maybe that joyful sound will be heard through you. Your testimony goes farther than you can ever imagine.