"A Wee Little Man"

Not much is known about Zaccheus, though he may go down in history as “a wee little man”. His encounter with Jesus is documented in the gospel of Luke and while it is relatively brief, his story demonstrates the type of attitude we should have toward our Savior and our lives. 

“Zaccheus was a chief tax collector and he was rich” (Luke 19:2), he had heard Jesus was in town and wanted to see Him. We are told that while “trying to see who Jesus was, he was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature” (Luke 19:3). He could have easily given up and gone home, but something drove Zaccheus beyond mere curiosity to seek out Jesus. “Zaccheus ran ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way” (Luke 19:4). More than likely, he climbed up a Ficus Sycamores which can grow upwards of 60 feet. While he probably didn’t climb to the very top, it still probably was tough work for a shorter man to climb high enough to see over the crowd. At any point Zaccheus could have turned back, but he didn’t. He persevered.  

Whether by His divinity or His eyes seeing this man clambering up a tree, Jesus observes Zaccheus and tells him to “hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house” (Luke 19:5). Zaccheus is quick to obey but is met with negativity by the crowd. “When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner” (Luke 19:7). In a similar situation, Jesus bites back with “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. 13 "But go and learn what this means: 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matthew 9:12-13).  

In this case, it is Zaccheus who answers first to Jesus declaring “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much”. Zaccheus recognizes his position and wants to amend any wrong doing on his part. It is then that Jesus says “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:9-10). 

We should look to Zaccheus’s resolution to find Jesus, to his quickness to obey, and his readiness to rectify his mistakes. This ‘wee little man’ may put many of us to shame. Let his story drive us to diligently seek to be close to Jesus and swift to change when our flaws are brought to light.