Summary: It isn’t Zaccheaus size or that he climbed the tree that matters, it is that he was willing to come down and meet Jesus and transform his life.

Zacchaeus’ story reminds me of a song made popular by Randy Newman called short people:

Short people got no reason

Short people got no reason

Short people got no reason

To live

They got little hands

And little eyes

And they walk around

Tellin’ great big lies

They got little noses

And tiny little teeth

They wear platform shoes

On their nasty little feet

Well, I don’t want no short people

Don’t want no short people

Don’t want no short people

Round here

Short people are just the same

As you and I

(A fool such as I)

All men are brothers

Until the day they die

(It’s a wonderful world)

Short people got nobody

Short people got nobody

Short people got nobody

To love

They got little baby legs

And they stand so low

You got to pick ’em up

Just to say hello

They got little cars

That got beep, beep, beep

They got little voices

Goin’ peep, peep, peep

They got grubby little fingers

And dirty little minds

They’re gonna get you every time

Well, I don’t want no short people

Don’t want no short people

Don’t want no short people

’Round here

Those lyrics are horrendous aren’t they. And from experience I can tell you if it weren’t for us short people the rest of you wouldn’t feel tall.

But sometimes we view people and judge people based on their looks or appearance. We don’t look beyond the outer to see the inner person. We look at that person and think we may be above them or that they will never change. That is the story of Zacchaeus.

The story of Zacchaeus is not that he was the wee little man who climbed the sycamore tree or a clever Sunday School song that we heard as children. The story of Zaccheaus is that he was able to change, wanted to changed and strived to make the change.

Zachhaeus was a tax collector, a publican. Now he wasn’t just any tax collector but the the chief tax collecter. He had admistrative oversight over other tax collectors in the region. The tax collectors were known to keep a portion of the taxes they had collected. So we could assume that he had accumlated a portion of those taxes for himself. To put it simply Zacchaeus was a very rich man.

Zacchaeus had heard about Jesus, maybe from when he ate at Levis’s house. He was so interested that he wanted to see this man, this Jesus. He was willing to risk his reputation by climbing a tree so he could view this man that people were speaking of. In essence we can say that Zacchaeus was a bit start struck. Wanting to see this person who all the buzz was about. He wanted a clear unblocked view.

That is how we are at times; we want a clear view of Jesus. We want to see Him in all His glory. We want him to come and fix us. But to let Jesus do that we have to take down the barriers in our lives; we have to not erect walls—walls of hatred, walls of addictions, wall of habits and attitudes, walls of judgement and guilt, walls of hopelessness and despair. See Jesus sees beyond those walls—he sees deep inside of us and He knows us and He knows us so very well but it’s those walls that keep us from him…that make us feel separated from him.

A good-looking society woman was invited to an expensive fund-raising dinner in New York City. She was seated next to a wealthy lawyer. During the meal, they had a chance to get to know each other and were having a good time. When the meal was finished, the lawyer leaned over and asked the woman if she would go to bed with him for $10,000. The woman blushed but said that she would. The man then asked her if she would go to bed with him for $10. The woman was shocked and said, “What kind of a woman do you think I am?” The man responded, “My dear, we have already established that. Now we are merely deciding on the price.”

What’s your price? What would it take to cause you to sell out? We already know who we are. We are sinners who have been saved by faith in Christ. None of us is immune to sinful behavior. Even Paul the apostle stumbled and fell. Peter, when faced with possible persecution at the time of the Crucifixion, denied Christ three times. He had his price.

Both Peter and Paul grew in their faith, though, becoming strong and courageous. Both of them died as martyrs because no amount of money, no amount of pain could cause them to turn their backs on their Lord.

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