'When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus” he said. “Quick, come down I must be a guest in your home today.”'     Luke 19:5

We have all learned this bible story as a young child in church. "Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he." The reality, however, is that Zacchaeus represents a large part of humanity today. There is an excitement to see Jesus, but from a distance.

Why? Well, to be honest, a multitude of reasons but here is just a few.

First, Zacchaeus wasn't liked very well among the people. He was a tax collector and by the sound of things he was often shady in his collections for Rome. This made him more than an object of disdain. He would have been considered a "publican" in bible days. We would call him a scoundrel. So, for Zacchaes, he was reminded that he was unaccepted and unwanted among such a holy prophet like Jesus.

Secondly, ol Zach was vertically challenged. Because he was socially unacceptable, he couldn't press through the crowd. His only option was to go up and not through. Up was safer. Up gave him the opportunity to watch and not get close. So, he climbed the tree that day with his heart full of excitement to see Jesus but his mind was dancing with hope. He knew it would be short lived, but maybe, just maybe something would happen that would change his situation. He, like many, didn't like who he had become but what was Zach going to do?

The third and final reason Zacchaeus is like many of us today is legal religion. We've been told for years by well meaning (or evil intention) people that we're not good enough. You've done this wrong, made this bad decision, and you're life doesn't measure up among all of us good "temple going" people. After all, Zach, we've seen your social media page. The people you hang out with are the kind of people only sinful crowds attract. You must be disqualified.
Maybe that sounds extreme, but that's exactly what we have often portrayed to hurting and lost souls. We tell them all kinds of things we are against, but never what God loves about humanity. So we leave them wondering, guessing, hopeless from a distant. We keep people in a tree when Jesus is calling out for them to come down and fellowship with Him.

Let's not keep Zach in the tree. Let's be more like Jesus and dig out the gold inside of their life! Zacchaeus, come down. We're coming to your house with Jesus.

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