If you came over to my house on any given day, you’d probably hear someone singing “Zacchaeus” at some point.
“Zacchaeus was a wee little man
and a wee little man was he.
He climbed up in a sycamore tree
for the Lord he wanted to see…”
And so on, the song goes. The other morning I began thinking about it, finally. “Poor little Zacchaeus,” I thought, “forever known to history as being a wee little man.” I mean, that’s not the way I’d like to be remembered. (Yes, it took me long enough to get past the fact that I’m shorter than my younger sister).
Zacchaeus needed his sycamore tree to see Jesus (at least, so he thought). He was too short, after all, to see Him on his own. Maybe children giggled when they saw him perched up on a branch, straining to see catch a glimpse of Jesus. “Oh look! It’s Zacchaeus up there. He’s so little he has to sit in a tree!”
Poor little Zacchaeus.
But, Zacchaeus’ small stature, wasn’t the only thing that I thought about–because being a wee little man wasn’t the only thing that happened to Zacchaeus. He also got to see Jesus. Actually, I doubt he would have heard anyone laughing at him, because way up in his sycamore tree, it’s likely the only thing on his mind was making sure he caught sight of Jesus. Then Jesus came up to him and talked with him and came into his house and declared salvation had come to his house!
Greatly blessed Zacchaeus!
It dawned on me then. Little people see Jesus. Not necessarily just the short ones, or the young ones, but the little ones. The people who recognize they’re too little see Jesus on their own, the ones who need help, the ones who are truly humble–those are the people who can see Jesus.
Maybe Zacchaeus is remembered to history as only a wee little man, but every lofty Pharisee ought to look with humility on that wee little sinner who got to see Jesus.
“‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit yourselves therefore to God….
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
“He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” –Luke 19:1-10