One of the most enjoyable things for tourists to do when they visit the land of Israel is to go to Jericho to see the ancient sycamore trees. And those who know the story can’t help but wonder which tree it was that Zacchaeus climbed to look for Jesus. His story is recorded in the Gospel by Luke (19:1-6). Let’s read it now: “Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.’ So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.”
To most people in Jericho, Zacchaeus was really disliked because of his job. Jewish tax collectors were seen as sellouts, people who made money working for Rome and ripping off their kinsmen. No one wanted anything to do with them.
No one, that is, but Jesus. The crowd that gathered pushed Zacchaeus aside. So he shimmied up that tree to look for Jesus. And as He passed by, to the amazement of that lonely little man, Jesus stopped, looked up and said “Zacchaeus!” At that moment he must have thought, “He knows my name!” Isn’t that wonderful about our Savior? He knows you and me. He even knows the number of hairs on our heads (Lk. 12:7).
No matter who you are or what you’ve done, the best friend you can ever have is Jesus. He’s the “friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Mt. 11:19). He loves you so much that He willingly died on the cross for you. When others reject you, Jesus already knows and accepts you. So get to know Him today. You’ll be eternally glad you did! We can tell you more.
By Patrick Pakai
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org