“Zaccheus, hurry and come down...” Luke 19:5
This well known and well loved story about Jesus and the short tax collector, Zaccheus, teaches us we must never give up on people, and we must never ever give up on ourselves. Just one touch, one call from Jesus can change everything. No matter how bad, selfish, or arrogant a person is, even if that person has stolen billions from the national coffers, or killed so many babies in wombs of mothers, there’s a God shaped hole in all of us that only God can fill. Hurting people are those that most need God, especially when they are intentionally mean, insensitive, or cruel.
Zaccheus was sort of a comic character. He was of short stature and had to clamber up a tree to see Jesus. He was the chief tax collector in Jesus’ day and he was very very rich. That meant that he was corrupt, mean and insensitive to people’s plight like so many in our government today. But that God-shaped hole inside him yearned for something, someONE! When Jesus was passing through his town, Zaccheus ran on ahead and climbed the sycamore tree, forgetting his dignity, the better to see Jesus.
“Zaccheus, come down,” Jesus called, “I must stay at your house.” Did Jesus really say that? I must stay in your heart and fill that gaping hole where only I belong! You don’t have to go searching anymore for what you need. You don’t have to keep harassing people, and amassing wealth. I will teach You that I am your treasure. I am your joy.
So if there’s anyone we know, insecure, grasping, cursing all the time, threatening, or bullying us or someone we know, let us pray. Get plenty of people to pray that Jesus will call him down from that lonely tree and fill his heart with what he needs. He may become like funny Zaccheus and turn his life around and follow Jesus! He may give away half of his wealth to serve the poor! Nothing, absolutely nothing, is impossible with God!