Summary: Zacchaeus' whole life changed; he completely turned around from a sinful life and thus became a child of God. God noticed the unnoticed.
1He entered Jericho and was passing through it. 2A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. 5When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today." 6So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. 7All who saw it began to grumble and said, "He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner." 8Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much." 9Then Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost."
The Gospel of Luke is my personal favorite among the synoptic Gospels, I love the language of Doctor Luke, which reveals him to be a very educated man—he very often alludes to sickness and diagnoses and being a Greek and a doctor explains his scientific and orderly approach. Earlier we dealt with story of the Sinful Woman and the Pharisee. And so now, we want to explore the story of Zacchaeus the Tax Collector. When was the last time you moved beyond your comfort zone? While operating within your comfort zone is safe, it does not give you the opportunity to grow. You may be good at what you do, but if you continue to do things in the same way, your life will have a tendency to become very boring. It may no longer offer you a challenge. Only by trying new things can you get your creative juices flowing and experience the thrill of reaching new heights of achievement that you would otherwise not receive while being restful in Zion.
As Christians the depth in which we experience the fullness of God’s plans for our lives is often related to our willingness to step beyond our comfort levels. There are a few things that God has taught me about comfort zones, and one thing is stepping out of your comfort zone is a huge sign of spiritual maturity! Zacchaeus had a sycamore tree to climb in order to appease his comfort level. There is nothing really wrong with the sycamore tree spiritually speaking. We all have sycamore trees to climb they are a part of our daily lives as a matter of fact—but every once in a while the Lord will instruct us to come down in order for us to enjoy a closer walk with Him. Maybe the tree you need to climb down from means shutting off the TV; turning the computer off with its Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; and maybe it is disassociating yourself with people who are standing in the way of your spiritual growth maybe this will aid you in getting out of your comfort zone and spending more time with Jesus.
The sycamore tree is the rut that keeps you from breaking old and very deadly habits. What are you willing to uproot out of your life so you can intimately experience Jesus Christ in your life? Just take time, to set aside some time in your daily life and spend time with Jesus and watch a great change come into your life. Even Jesus if you think about it, stepped out of His own comfort zone in heaven with the Father.
Jesus loves us so much that the comforts of heaven could not distract Him, the walls of heaven could not encase Him, the voices of the angels could not dissuade Him, and the power of His deity could not hold Him. He had to come. He could do nothing else because of the seriousness and possibility of you and I becoming eternally lost forever due of our sins with no chance of experiencing the everlasting bliss and glory of heaven. He stepped out of heavenliness to take His place in this dirty, dusty, faded, unloving, uncaring, and sin-cursed world we call earth. And here we have little old stingy Zacchaeus whom his community despised and hated as a tax collector, and as a representative of the Roman oppression who was in need of the lesson on how to move beyond his comfort zone. He climbed up a sycamore tree because it gave him a better view of Jesus; although it limited him from the intimate, loving, and saving relationship that he really needed.