When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today. Luke 19:5, TNIV
Jesus was a pretty popular guy. He had crowds of people around Him who wanted to listen to Him, or perhaps test Him with tricky questions, or to get Him to heal someone. The disciples probably felt a bit like bodyguards, most of the time.
Zacchaeus, being short, wanted to see Him but couldn’t because of that large crowd, so he climbed a sycamore-fig tree. Zacchaeus may have chosen this tree because it has a sturdy trunk and wide, spreading branches, or he might have chosen it because it’s an evergreen and almost never leafless, so it would be easy to conceal himself there. After all, he was a tax collector who had gotten rich cheating people, and maybe seeing Jesus made him ashamed of himself. He may not have wanted Jesus to know he was looking at Him.
But Jesus didn’t keep His attention on the disciples next to Him, or the needy who wanted healing, or the clever Pharisees trying to trip Him up. He looked up—beyond the people directly around Him, outside of the circle pressing in on Him. He looked up to see Zacchaeus. To notice him.
How often do I look outside my circle of friends and family? How often do I notice people I don’t know, who may be in need or who just want to be acknowledged by someone? Jesus had a lot of distractions around Him, but He took the time to look outside of Himself. So shouldn’t you and I do the same?
FAITH STEP: Today, make an effort to look outside of yourself, to greet one new person and show Jesus’ love.
Contributed by Camy Tang