Jump Start # 3033
Luke 19:5 “And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, ‘Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.’”
Our verse comes from the brief encounter between our Lord and little Zaccheus. There are several things that stand out about Zaccheus. He was a tax collector and more than that, he was a chief tax collector. He has risen to the top. I wonder if he knew Matthew, who was also a tax collector, or might he have been Matthew’s boss? He wasn’t only at the top of his profession, he was rich. Rich, powerful, he had what many people are looking for.
He had heard about Jesus and he wanted to see for himself. His job, his status, his wealth, wasn’t enough to keep him home. This prophet of God, the amazing miracle worker, and one who had chosen a tax collector to be one of the apostles, was something that Zaccheus just had to see. We know the story. We know the song, about the wee-little man, who climbed up in a Sycamore tree.
Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem. This trip would end in His death. So many things would be swirling around in the head of our Savior. The apostles will abandon Him. The process of His death would be extremely painful. Judas would betray. Peter would deny. So much would happen in such a short span of time. But as Jesus walks towards this fate, He comes to Zaccheus.
Four things Jesus does demands our attention:
First, Jesus stopped. He could have kept on walking. He had so much on His mind. He stopped.
Second, Jesus looked up. He knew Zaccheus was in that tree.
Third, Jesus calls the taxman by his name. How that must have shocked and surprised Zaccheus. “How does He know me?” he must have thought? We have never met, yet, He knows my name.
Fourth: Jesus invited Himself to Zaccheus’ home. He didn’t wait for an invitation. That may not have come from Zaccheus.
Jesus looked up, is what our verse says. He looked. He saw. How similar this is to the story of the bent over woman in the synagogue. Jesus saw her and called her to come to Him. Jesus looked. Jesus saw.
Some lessons for us:
First, did you see that visitor last Sunday? Some might say, ‘No, I was busy talking to someone else.’ And, if everyone was doing that, the visitor must have felt that he is not important enough to be included. Jesus looked. Jesus saw.
Second, did you see that member who has not been there in many months. Some are making their way back to the church house after a long stay out because of Covid. Some are just now coming back. Did you see them? Did you let them know how great it was to see them face to face? Jesus looked. Jesus saw.
Third, did you see that elderly man eating by himself in a restaurant. He has a story. Maybe we don’t want to intrude. Maybe we just want to mind our own business. Maybe we want to let him eat in peace and quiet. Jesus looked. Jesus saw.
We have things to do, so did Jesus. What Jesus had to do was much more important than anything we have to do. Yet, Jesus looked. Jesus saw. Our minds were somewhere else. Don’t you think, Jesus’ mind could have been somewhere else. Jesus looked. Jesus saw.
In times when our culture is so fixated upon self, let us have eyes like Jesus. All around us are opportunities to encourage, invite, and help. Some of these we walk right on by and never notice. It’s the open eyes and those who are looking that see. Within our homes and our congregations are needs that we can make a difference.
In the section about parables, Jesus said, “Blessed are your eyes because they see.” Zaccheus climbed a tree with the hopes of seeing Jesus. He never dreamed that the Lord would see him. He had a personal conversation with Jesus because the Lord looked. Jesus saw.