A Rich Man in a Poor Man’s Tree

May 10, 2023 –

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 climbed a tree to see Jesus better as He passed through Jericho.

When Jesus saw Zacchaeus, He did not see a wealthy man in a tree; He saw a poor man needing 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.”

“Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was but could not see over the crowd because he was short. So, he climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him since Jesus came that way. In ancient times, people experiencing poverty ate the fig-like fruit of this tree. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately. l must stay at your house today.’ 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 in the right place and at the right time? Do you provide a platform for people to meet Jesus?

A favorite Chinese proverb 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?