Posted by: mikenicholsblog | September 12, 2014

a changed life!

Over 50 years have passed since I became familiar with a little song that still rings a clear tune in my ears and mind.

Zacchaeus was a wee little man,
a wee little man was he.
He climbed up in a sycamore tree,
to see what he could see.

If you were honored to attend Sunday school as a child, I bet you could hum the tune right along with me.  That little song comes from Luke 19:1-10 and is filled with great drama for the wee little man, Zacchaeus.  On that particular day Jesus came into Jericho, Zacchaeus was curious and made a real effort to see Him. It was a day that would change his life forever, and a day children would sing about centuries later. Hmmm!

Picture the scene for a moment. There was a crowd of people gathered to see Jesus. Zacchaeus had some kind of curiosity to see this man, but was too short to look over the crowd. So what does he do?  Zacchaeus runs ahead of the crowd and climbs a tree!  I have to ask myself, “What would cause a stirring like this in his heart?”  This wasn’t just any person running after Jesus, it was a tax collector. He was rich and, shall we say, not the most popular man in town (in fact, he would likely have been hated by most). I can picture in my mind’s eye people in the crowd not giving Zacchaeus much opportunity to find a good vantage point. So, he climbed up in a sycamore tree, to see what he could see. Hmmm!

What would you and I do if we saw an unpopular man up in a tree?  Probably not what Jesus did!  When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said, “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” (Luke 19:5 NLT) It’s the only time in the four gospels that we find Jesus inviting Himself to someone’s house.  Why would the Savior want to do that? Hmmm!

It’s frankly quite odd to me that this wealthy and powerful (and quite unpopular) government official would do something as childlike as running to see this man Jesus and climbing a tree when he couldn’t see him above the crowd. Seriously!  It also may sound odd to some that Jesus would have initiated a relationship with Zacchaeus.  And finally, it’s fascinating that Christ used the words must and today in stating His desire to be a guest at the wee little man’s home. Once Jesus stated His desire, Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled. (Luke 19:6-7 NLT) Christ initiated a meeting, and Zacchaeus responded with great joy. Hmmm!

The scene quickly moves to Zacchaeus’ dramatic declaration of giving half of his possessions to the poor, and stating that if he had cheated anyone out of anything, he would repay it back four times the amount. Wow!  Jesus assessed his words as evidence of saving faith.  Jesus stated that salvation had come to Zacchaeus’ house that day.  Zacchaeus ran and climbed a tree seeking to see Jesus, and met the Savior who was in fact seeking him. Hmmm!

That wee little man who met the Savior gives us a dramatic picture of saving faith. His salvation represents what happens when anyone turns to the Savior’s wonderful offer of salvation … an eternal union and a changed life. The last words of Jesus in this section show incredible love and amazing grace, For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost. (Luke 19:10 NLT)

If you have experienced a changed life through saving faith, share it! If you are not sure of that eternal union with Christ, settle it today! Feel free to write us at journeyonwordwithus@gmail.com  and we will help you.

yeam_2014


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