People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18:15-17
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. Luke 19:4
A few weeks ago, we had a church picnic on one of the hottest days of the year. Most of us adults sat under the little puddles of shade available… but not the kids. They were having a ball running in the grass, playing on the playground, climbing the trees. I went up to one boy high up in a tree and asked if he wanted some help down. He said, “Naw. I’m good.”… and then he jumped. I mean this was a big jump! I held my breath ‘cause it looked like he jumped down about three times his height. He was fine like it was no big deal and he went running off. Oh, to be a kid again!
Zacchaeus did the same kid-like thing – he climbed up a tree but he did it to get a better view of Jesus. His curiosity about this visiting rabbi made him get up the nerve to go in that sycamore tree – robes, turbans, whatever, and all.
Not exactly what a dignified, wealthy businessman would be caught doing. Maybe that’s too bad for us – are we too dignified (or prideful) to do something child-like… when needed?
Luke 19:3 says , “he (Zacchaeus) wanted to see Jesus”. You can stretch that word “wanted” to “desired”. You can even get the sense that his insides were “demanding” to see Jesus. So much so that he’d even climb a tree to satisfy his demanding curiosity.
Jesus said in the chapter just before this “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:17) Now, don’t think you’ve got to go out and climb a tree to add to your “come to Jesus moments”, but I do wonder if we’ve ever been able to set aside our pride long enough to simply do some undignified trusting… maybe some topsy-turvey believing… maybe being playfully willing to go out on a limb with Him. Remember that love you had for Him at first?
Oh, to be a kid again!
By Dan Elliott