Have you ever thought of why Jesus came down to earth from heaven? Why would the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, who is Himself God, the One true God; Creator of all things, come and be born in mortal human flesh?
In the Gospel of Luke, the 9th chapter, the Bible tells us a story about a man named Zacchaeus. He was small, short. His lack made it so he was unable to see Jesus over the much taller, larger crowd as He was walking through the town of Jericho.
Not only was he physically little, but his story reveals he was also a lonely guy. No one would want to have anything to do with him because he was a tax-collector.
Based on this context, what is wrong with being a tax-collector during that time? Why were they so rejected by the community?
We learned tax collectors were known for their corrupt conduct. Deceiving people and effectively defrauding them of their tax.
Tax-collectors during Jesus’ day were very rich because of that.
Therefore, Zacchaeus was not only a tax-collector, but a chief tax-collector.
Worse yet, the tax-collectors were despised as traitors by the Jews because they were working for the Roman Empire, who was against the Jewish community.
Zacchaeus had no friend in the town of Jericho.
When Jesus showed up, it was a big deal.
So here is Christ, walking down the street and Zacchaeus unable to see him in the crowd. People were trying to make a shot at Jesus; Zacchaeus had no chance getting through to Jesus because of the crowd and his physical challenge.
Perhaps, since he was hated, he thought to himself, I’d better just run ahead and climb on that tree. I’ll keep the distance from everyone else and climb that tree. At least I could see Jesus from there.
We don’t know for sure that was the case. But what we do know is
- He took quick measures, not allowing anything in the way to stop him from seeing Jesus.
- He left his tax table ( something very important to him) and ran ahead, climbing up on a sycamore tree just so he could get a view of Jesus.
Picture that, a sea of people were all around Jesus, out of all that was happening in that moment; Jesus came down under this tree, looks up, makes eye contact at Zacchaeus and He calls him up by name.
He said, “Zacchaeus, come down from that tree. I’m coming to your house today.”
You could imagine the shock Zacchaeus had that Jesus noticed him and knew him by name. Better yet, Jesus wanted to come to his house.
The picture painted in the Bible shows Zacchaeus was overjoyed as he was welcoming Jesus into his house.
Whoever you are, and whatever and messy situation you may be involved in, the Lord knows.
He knows you by name.
Don’t ever think that you are too deep into a messy situation that Jesus won’t regard you. You are the reason He came.
Conversely, we see as Pharisees point out Christ in His action, saying, “Jesus is gone to be a guest at a man’s house who is a sinner!”
Exactly! That’s where Jesus wanted to be at.
He came for the sinners. So the question is, How can you reach a sinner if you don’t spend some time with them?
Zacchaeus walked into his house as a sinner, and he came out a saint. That’s what spending time with Jesus will do.
Jesus revealed the reason He came.
“Salvation has come to this house for the Son of Man has come to seek and save the lost.”
He came, to seek and save the lost.
It is interesting that Jesus was born in Bethlehem to bring life in all its fullness. The meaning of Bethlehem is, “House of bread.” Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35). He said in John 10:10, “I have come that you might have life and have more abundantly.”
Are you lost and feeling empty in your life?
Jesus came to give you life and all of its fullness.
He came to give you life, and life more abundantly.