Luke 19:1-5 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchæus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchæus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.
Zacchaeus is quite the popular name, especially when it comes to stories we often share to our young people. Even as adults, we, too, can benefit from the truths of his life. I’d like to share some observations from Zacchaeus’ life that I believe can help us be OUTSTANDING for Jesus.
First, he was a very small man in stature. Despite what some would consider a physical setback, Zacchaeus was studious enough to work his way to becoming a very educated man and eventually becoming a tax collector.
Perhaps, like Zacchaeus, we too have limitations. It could be a broken home. It could be what we would consider limited talents, or maybe even a speech impediment. Don’t allow setbacks to keep you from achieving all that God has for you. Everybody has something they can point to as a reason not to make it for the Lord, but God gives everyone the grace to overcome.
Secondly, Zacchaeus had a tremendous desire to see Jesus. His profession came with its monetary perks, but it was not fulfilling and left Zacchaeus wanting more to life. He had heard that Jesus was coming into town, and he wanted to see the Son of God firsthand!
Most of us are settled with our families and with our careers. We have our yearly routines that are seemingly set in stone. We are busy—to say the least. However, amid our routines and responsibilities, how much do we truly desire to be around the Lord? Is church something we look forward to? Is the preaching of God’s Word something we anticipate with great joy?
If we are not careful, we can fall into the trap of turning Jesus into another routine in our lives. He isn’t a routine; He isn’t a line item of a checklist—He is the Son of God! Our Savior! Our Hope! Our Safety! Our Salvation!
Thirdly, Zacchaeus was not willing to give up. Because of his small stature, he knew it would be hard to see Christ once the crowds started to form. He could have said, “Oh well,” but instead, he determined to find a plan to see the Lord, despite his setback. He ended up finding a sycamore tree that he would climb to get a better view of the Lord.
Most people have a breaking point, or what some would consider a “quitting point.” I’m not saying it’s right to quit, but naturally speaking, there is a point at which many say, “It’s enough…I quit.” For some, it’s when they are offended. For others, it may be when they are not recognized or appreciated. For many, it is when things just get too tough to handle.
As we mature in Christ and conform more into His image, we should gradually move that quitting point further and further away. With experience comes the strength and fortitude to press forward right through the quitting points of yesterday.
No matter what trial or setback in life, God will make a way for us to get to Christ. We just have to be willing to climb a tree if we have to!
What are we willing to do to stand out to Christ? What are we willing to do to get His attention? It is true that God sees the world, always. However, I do believe that God hones His attention on those who are truly looking to stand out to Him.
Whether it’s by being a great testimony, serving faithfully in a church, or diligently sharing the Gospel…every Christian should strive to stand out for the Lord.
My prayer is that this quick overview of the story of Zacchaeus will be a blessing to all of us!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY
1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
Our children are not going to have that “summer jump” by accident.
The Bible compares the man that does not rule his spirit to a city that is broken down and without walls.