And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. Luke 19:2-3
Although Zacchaeus was a chief among the publicans and a rich man as well, he had a problem. He was short, and I’m not only referring to his stature. Yes, the Bible makes it clear that Zacchaeus was “vertically challenged,” but his deficiencies didn’t end there.
- Zacchaeus was short on integrity. From what the Bible tells us in the short passage in Luke, Zacchaeus was a cheat and a liar. He took more than was due and lived in luxury at the expense of others. Even the people on the street called him a sinner. They were all too familiar with the ways of Zacchaeus.
- Zacchaeus was short on friends. Despite his high standing in society, there is no evidence here that Zacchaeus had anyone who cared for him. Is it any wonder? How can one befriend a liar and a cheat? All of which left him standing alone in this crowd of people.
- Zacchaeus was short on peace. Looking on the outside, one would guess that this stubby, little businessman had it made. Plenty of money. A nice house. Servants to fulfill his every whim. But Zacchaeus still felt empty, as if the greatest treasure in all the world was still out of his reach. It was this emptiness that prompted him to seek out Jesus.
- Zacchaeus was short on options. Because of his short stature, Zacchaeus feared his effort to see the Lord had been in vain. But then, he spied a tree, and a plan began to form. He could climb that tree and get a glimpse of this man who seemed to be so much more than just a man. But what would people think when they saw a wealthy businessman climbing a tree as if he were still a small boy? Was it worth the risk? Well, it was that or miss out on the opportunity altogether, so Zacchaeus stepped out of his comfort zone and humbled himself as a child.
And the result was nothing less than amazing. “And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, ‘Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.’ ” (Luke 19:5) Zacchaeus couldn’t have been happier as he shimmied down the tree and led Jesus to his magnificent abode. But the wealthy munchkin wasn’t thinking about riches or treasure. He was concentrating on Jesus, and during the Lord’s brief stay, Zacchaeus had a serious change of heart.
By the end of the story, we find Zacchaeus is still short in stature, but in contrast, he’s big on generosity. “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: ‘Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.’ ”
What are you short on? Perhaps you’re short on hope. Whatever the case, Jesus can make a difference in your life just as he did for Zacchaeus. His presence alone can fill the voids in your life as nothing else can. Call on Him. Like the wealthy businessman, make every effort to reach out to Him, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone. It will be worth it. Just ask Zacchaeus.
Where are you today? Do you find yourself short on integrity, friends, peace or options?