by Jake Collins Posted Jul 3, 2013
But the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10), and found him… just outside of Jericho.
Then, there was a tree.
I’ve always been challenged and impressed by the steps of courage taken by Zacchaeus. I can’t get past the plethora of reasons why Zacchaeus could have not climbed the tree. The insecurities and pride that must have gotten in his way (not to mention the people who probably didn’t want him to succeed!) from taking that step had to be enormous. But he took that large step of initiation! Or what appears to be initiation…
Please begin to consider all of the little intricate details that had to go into this situation in order for it to occur. The sycamore is a great tree for a short man to try to climb. It has low branches, yet is tall enough to see over a large crowd. How did that specific tree get in that specific place, and specifically where Jesus was going to be teaching? Zacchaeus has the ability to climb—lucky him. There are so many things that could have eliminated that tree from the picture. And yet, it is there. And who created the sycamore, Zacchaeus, his abilities to climb, hear, see, and so-on and so-forth?
So often, I think that initiation is something that has to originate solely in myself. That the calling of a man to initiate really begins with me. That I am the “Alpha” (Rev. 22:13). When in actuality, my initiation is a response. It is a response to the initiation of a loving God through many avenues.
For Zacchaeus, the interests of a crowd caught his attention, the Divinity of Jesus kept his attention, the tree enabled him to focus his attention, and the voice of Jesus called him to attention. Zacchaeus’ initiation was a response.
Therefore, the challenge for us as men is not to see something that doesn’t exist and initiate. To make something from nothing. Rather, it is to see what God has initiated, and RESPOND with further initiation. To see the tree God has put before us, and have the courageous obedience and chutzpah to climb it!
Take heart that God has initiated, is initiating, and will initiate. Guidance is something God does. See the tree and respond. See the old trees God has placed in your path and praise Him. Choose to no longer see the world as a place of coincidence, because we serve a deliberate and loving God.
Passages: Luke 19; 1 John 4:19; Romans 3; Ephesians 1; John 17
P.S. A sycamore fig tree’s leaves… are heart shaped.