“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”
Meet Zacchaeus, a short man who climbed a sycamore fig tree in the city of Jericho just to get a glimpse of this man Jesus. You see, he’d heard the stories about the miracles. He wanted to know who this Jesus was. But, hey, his shortness wasn’t the only obstacle. He was the despicable tax collector and to see Jesus he’d be knocking elbows with those men he’d cheated. Do you think they’d let this shrimp of a man—in character and stature—to the edge of the street to see Jesus? Think again.
And wasn’t that all for the good anyway? Up in the tree he’d be safe. Not only from the sneers of men, but from the perceptiveness of this Prophet. He wanted to see Jesus, check him out, but he didn’t want Jesus to see him.
But Jesus seeks and finds.
Lord, seek me.
Jesus walked that dusty road of Jericho and stopped under the sycamore, looked up at Zacchaeus, and said, “You come down, for I’m going to your house today.”
Yes, Jesus invited himself into Zacchaeus’s house to share a meal. He invited himself into the hidden places of the tax collector’s heart. Because sin may cause us to hide, but Jesus searches us out.
Lord, invite yourself into me.
Years before, another sinner sought God in Jericho. A prostitute named Rahab. She’d heard stories of this great Yahweh, Israel’s God, and she feared him, cried out to him, and was rescued. The walls of the city crashed down, but Rahab was saved.
Lord, crash down my walls.
We have the same pull in us as Zacchaeus. We want to be close to Jesus, but not too close. We want the adventure of seeing him, but not the vulnerability of knowing him. Sin tugs us toward secrecy. Hide yourself, it whispers. And we sew together the fig leaves.
Another pull contradicts this: our need to be found, and by that I mean loved, affirmed, seen for who we are and accepted nonetheless. This was the pull within Rahab that caused her to risk her life to save servants of the Lord–all for the chance to know this awesome God who trampled the enemies of his people, who swept back the waters of a sea.
Lord, find me.
Are you hiding in a sycamore tree today, ashamed of your sin, fearful of the Savior’s eyes falling upon you? He sees you, anyway, and he loves you. He seeks you out for fellowshpi. Don’t hesitate to come down and be found.
Be encouraged by God’s words to the church of Laodicea: “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.” (Revelation 3:19-21)