"He was trying to see what Jesus was like, but being small of stature, was unable to do so." —Luke 19:3
Zacchaeus was short. He seemed to be always standing on his tiptoes to look taller. He had taken the job of tax collector to make "big money," possibly to compensate for his small size. Zacchaeus was another Napoleon, a short man trying to make a big impression. But it didn't work. The more Zacchaeus tried to be big, the shorter he got — not physically but spiritually. He was short on justice, love, mercy, peace, happiness, and hope.
Finally, Zacchaeus tried one more time to be tall. He climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus. Jesus looked up at the man who had climbed the ladder of success in business, and told him to "hurry down" (Lk 19:5) — not just down the tree but down the power tower of his life. Zacchaeus gave up a life of focusing on himself and comparing himself with others and chose a life of denying his very self and following Jesus (Lk 9:23). Then Zacchaeus no longer needed to be tall, for the life he lived was not his own but a life of faith in Jesus (Gal 2:20).
Like Zacchaeus, we are all short — short on money, brains, opportunities, patience, strength, etc. We can spend our lives on tiptoe, up trees, and climbing ladders, or we can live for Jesus.
Prayer: Jesus, because You died on a tree, I don't have to climb one. Because you climbed the hill of Calvary, I don't have to climb the ladder of success. I thank You, adore You as God, and totally give my life to You.
Promise: "Today salvation has come to this house." —Lk 19:9
Praise: Donald didn't find peace and joy until he lost everything and found Jesus.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Seek First The Kingdom.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 3, 2007
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