Posted by: pmarkrobb | October 29, 2015

these are no tall tales

Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem.  He has precious few steps left before He will walk the cross road and willingly offer His life as a ransom for ours.  He has restored the sight of blind Bartimeus and there is one more eye appointment he must keep before leaving Jericho.

News of Jesus’ visit must have circulated around town and quite certainly reached the ears of a vertically challenged tax collector.  I get the impression from reading Scripture, Zacchaeus was more than just passively curious about Jesus.  There is no back story to confirm it, but the lengths to which Zacchaeus goes to get a glimpse of Jesus suggests he is seeking something more than just a face to put with a name.  Zacchaeus’ eyesight may be keen and clear, but it’s obvious he is seeking healing for an altogether different kind of blindness.  He has had it all his life.  He was born with it, and the riches he’s accumulated as a tax collector cannot buy a cure.

In reading the story backwards (with his actions and intentions in full view), I found it interesting that this man who climbed a sycamore tree takes a posture quite kindred to the beggar, who Jesus met on his way into town.   Zacchaeus’ confession and promises to Jesus do not suggest the hardened heart you would expect from a tax collector.  The power and wealth of his position have not caused him to scoff or hide, when the news of Jesus’ visit finds him.  He walks out into the light.  He seeks a spot from which to see the Great Healer.  And although he does not cry out to him, as the blind beggar did, he presents himself plainly to His Savior.

So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.” (Luke 19:6 – ESV)  This was Zacchaeus’ response to Jesus.  He was seeking, and he had been found.  The darkness which Jesus removed from the eyes of the blind beggar was now being removed from Zacchaeus’ heart.  Where the blind beggar rose up and followed Jesus, Zacchaeus’ half portion was the evidence of his healing.  He would sell half of all he had and give it to the poor.  He promised four-fold reparations for any he had defrauded — paid in full from his remaining half.  This is 20/20 kingdom vision.

These are no tall tales.  They are a beautiful biography on blindness — never beyond the notice or power of the Great Healer.  As you continue reading the stories this week, I pray that your “knowing” is deepened and your eyes are further opened.  And for the one who has not yet believed, I pray you will climb the tree.  For the Savior is passing by and wants nothing more than to come to your house today … and stay.

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