A Rich Man in a Poor Man’s Tree

October 21, 2020 –

A single incident, one opportunity, and a single tree played essential roles in the salvation of Zacchaeus. A wealthy tax collector, Zacchaeus, wanted to see Jesus so badly that he climbs a tree to get a better view of Jesus as He passed through Jericho.

When Jesus saw Zacchaeus, He did not see a wealthy man in a tree; He saw a poor man in need of a savior. He said to the tax collector, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” Jesus invites Himself to the house of a sinner. Before leaving Zacchaeus’ house, Jesus declares, “Today salvation has come to this house.”

1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short, he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him since Jesus was coming that way. In ancient times, the poor ate the fig-like fruit of this tree. 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.” (Luke 19:1-6)

Are you a sycamore-fig tree that welcomes the outcasts—the short, the tall, the young, the old, the educated, the uneducated, people like you, and people different from you? Are you the tree that provides a platform for people to meet Jesus?

There’s a Chinese proverb that says: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” What spiritual trees are you planting today?