I just recently finished reading a book by Judah Smith called Jesus Is ______. In the beginning of the book, he points out something in the story of Zacchaeus that I would like to share with you in this post today. If you’re not familiar with the story of Zacchaeus, this is what Luke writes:
Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 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.” Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:1-10 NKJV)
Notice how Luke points out that Zacchaeus was of “short stature.” Because of this, he climbed a tree in order that he might see Jesus. I believe that every word written in the Bible is there for a reason. As Judah Smith points out, this story is a mere reflection of our stories today. Paul writes that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (See Romans 3:23). Because of this, we try to climb proverbial trees in order to get to Jesus. We climb the religion tree. We climb the money tree. We climb the education tree. We climb the career tree. We climb the status tree. We climb all kinds of trees in an attempt to get to Jesus. The only problem with this is, no matter what tree we climb, no matter how many trees we climb; we always end up falling short.
The truth of the matter is Jesus came down from heaven to earth, climbed a tree, died for us, and rose again providing a way for us to get to Him so that we wouldn’t have to keep trying to climb trees.
Just like Jesus called out to Zacchaeus to hurry down from the tree he was in, Jesus is calling out to you today to hurry down from the tree you have climbed. So hurry down from that tree of religion. Hurry down from that tree of money. Hurry down from that tree of education. Hurry down from that tree of career. Hurry down from that tree of status. Whatever tree that you may be in. Hurry down today.