Luke 19:5-7 5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.’ ”
“Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he. He climbed up in a sycamore tree for the Lord our God to see….” You gotta love a silly Bible song. I think it’s funny how the song focuses on the fact that Zacchaeus was short. No mention of the fact that he was dishonest, hated, and filthy rich – just short. As a child, were we supposed to be impressed that Jesus went to the house of a short guy? It leaves me wondering if he had to duck as he walked through the front door.
This story is not really about stature. Jesus made the conscious decision to spend time with someone who was lost rather than with those who thought they were found. This well respected Rabbi went to stay at the horrible tax collector’s house. Scandalous. Apparently Jesus wasn’t interested in media perception. He didn’t care much about popular opinion or brewing scandal. He cared about lost souls that needed saving. He cared about rescuing a lost and dying world.
To that end, he entered it and engaged it. He reached out to it, entering it’s houses and eating at it’s tables. Because of that, we can eat at his someday. His charge to us, “go into all the world.” Do we expect the world to come to us? Do we expect it to look like us? Do we avoid those who don’t? You see, we must enter and engage our world and rescue the lost. Church, we must go to them. Be like Jesus today. Engage the world, being prepared to give an answer for the hope that you have. Open your eyes and you might just find a guy in a tree waiting for an invitation.