TUESDAY, JULY 7
“He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.”
Luke 19:3-4 (NLT2)
THE DESIRE FOR GOODNESS
In Luke 19:3 a short senior tax collector, named Zacchaeus climbed a tree to get a glimpse of Jesus. Some of you remember the childhood song “Zacchaeus was a wee little man.”
K. Bailey In his great sermon on the “Testimony Of A Tax Collector,” said…
“I’ve always wondered what drove Zacchaeus to climb that tree; what was his motivation, what compelled him to climb that tree? For it is exceedingly unusual, imaginatively unlikely, and totally uncanny to see a well-dressed, well-educated, well-established, wealthy man at midday, publicly but shamelessly climbing a tree, crawling out on its branches, and hanging on a limb. What led him to ignore embarrassment, disregard shame, reject ridicule, and do something as uncharacteristic as climbing a tree for all to see?”
Dr. Bailey goes on to weave an imaginary account of Zacchaeus going to collect taxes at various homes both before and after the individuals encountered Jesus. And he suggests that Zacchaeus had seen the effect that Jesus had on the lives of needy people. So he wanted to see this man named Jesus. Zacchaeus didn’t want to just hear, he wanted to see Jesus. Zacchaeus didn’t want just a glimpse he wanted to have a good look at Jesus, so he forgot his dignity and climbed up a tree like a little boy.
The name “Zacchaeus” means “pure.” But as J. T. Woodhouse said, “A man may have a good name and a bad reputation.” Zaccheaus had money but wanted greater treasure. He wanted a changed life. He wanted it so bad he climbed a tree hoping to see Jesus and maybe hoping there was hope for him. Zaccheaus made a living from cheating people out of money and he wanted to change. He was hated and I imagine feeling hated is exhausting.
What has you feeling exhausted and ready for change? Have you ever been so sick of your own sin and just wanted to do good? Paul prayed in 2 Thessalonians 1:11, “To this end also we pray for you always that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power.” Pray that God would fill your desire for goodness.