How desperately do we want to see God? That is the question the story of Zacchaeus prompts us to ask. The Bible says this man from Jericho was a chief tax collector and that he was rich. Since we learned previously that Jewish tax collectors were thieves and crooks working for the Roman Empire, he was an unlikely subject to be chasing after the Lord…but something about Jesus intrigued him. His quest, however, was made challenging by the fact that he was short. Since the average man in the first century was 5’ 1,” and Luke went out of his way to tell us about Zacchaeus’ small stature, we can assume that he was really tiny — more like a hobbit or a midget. Therefore, not only was he unpopular with people because of his profession, but there was a stigma surrounding him because of his size. Nevertheless, he was determined to lay eyes on the Lord, so he did whatever it took to find him. Cutting through the crowd so as not to be lost in it, he noticed a sycamore fig tree — which could have been anywhere from 90 to 130 feet tall — and climbed it. Not even thinking about the risk involved or about how he would get down, he went high enough to behold the powerful teacher who was rumored to be the Messiah. In just the knick of time, he rose above the mob, and his heart leapt for joy when he looked out to see the Savior walking his way.
My friend, there’s much to learn from the story of Zacchaeus. While he faced obstacles to get to Jesus — including a hostile public and an impaired view — he was determined to behold Him at all costs. Though it forced him to take a risk, he climbed above the noise of the crowd and kept an eye out for Christ’s coming. Likewise, I encourage you to do whatever it takes to see the Lord afresh. Though the noise of the world can be deafening, find a way to rise above it so your vision is renewed. Even if it means turning off electronic devices, unplugging from daily routines, or leaving the chaos of the masses, do whatever it takes to understand His path, and make seeing Him your most passionate pursuit.