Zacchaeus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he…. Can you finish the rest of this old Bible school song? A song sang by children for years, based on the Luke 19 story of a short tax-collector named Zacchaeus who climbed up in a tree to see the Jesus.
Now that you’re humming that little tune in your head, let me divert your attention to another little story. I knew of a couple once who looked at a house that had been abandoned for a few years. From outside, the house seemed to be in good condition except for one minor thing; a tree in the front landscaping had grown up and over the deck with its branches stretching clear to the roof. Once inside the home, they found everything to be in good condition. They were pleased with what they saw until they got to the basement, where there were clear signs that a creature of some sort hadinhabited the basement. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the overgrown tree had created a wonderful racoon bridge to the chimney. I suppose the raccoons innocently wandered upon the tree at some point. Inquisitive, as they are, they shimmied up the tree and found the roof and began to explore their new territory. Alas, their curiosity led them to a hole (chimney) and they dove in head first; free falling to the fireplace below. I wonder what a sight this must have been. Once they shook off the soot and shock of the fall, they found themselves in basement paradise! They settled in and started a family in their cozy little discovery. How clever they must have felt.
Now back to Zacchaeus. He had questionable character, was most likely hated because of his job and great wealth and was probably ridiculed for his short stature. I don’t mean to add insult to injury by comparing poor Zac to a raccoon, but they do have something in common here. They both climbed a tree and discovered security that they didn’t even know was available to them.
I can identify with Zac and Rac! I can’t tell you how many times I have walked blindly into unchartered territory, fearful and uncertain – seeking security and rest. In case you’re unfamiliar with Zacchaeus’ story or you just need a refresher – once in the tree Jesus called up to him from the crowd. He looked him in the eye and told him to come down because he was going to his house. Zac shimmied down the tree, eager to host this Master that so many had talked about. This man had piqued his curiosity so much that he climbed a tree just to get a gander at him. The crowd murmured about Jesus spending the day with the likes of a sinner. Zacchaeus, so taken by the Lord’s affection repented that day and promised to repay, in excess, to those he had cheated. His heart had been softened to right all his wrongs. Jesus said to him “Today, salvation has come to this house.” Now that is security at its finest. Salvation – eternal security!
Friend, I don’t know why the Lord gave me this word this morning. Perhaps, because like the short man and the forest friend, I need to climb into the unknown with faith – so I can see the hope of the future.
Do you need to find security? Are there unknowns where you need to step out into faith and trust God for the paradise that waits on the other side? I don’t recommend the tree method but there is something you can “leaf” through to find what you’re looking for. Dive head long into His word and see what promise awaits you. You won’t be disappointed. Verse 10 of Luke 19 says “For the Son of Man, came to seek and to save the lost.” Be lost no more – find your security in the promises of the one who rescues you EVERY TIME!