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Would You Climb A Tree To See Jesus?

Luke 19:1-10  And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 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. And he ran before and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. 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. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. 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. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Zacchaeus: A Leap of Faith from a Sycamore Tree

In the bustling streets of Jericho, a man named Zacchaeus found himself perched atop a sycamore tree, driven by a fervent desire to witness the man called Jesus. This encounter, rich with spiritual symbolism and transformative power, is captured in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 19:1-10).

Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, was a man of wealth yet impoverished in spirit. His profession made him an outcast, a sinner in the eyes of his community. But it was his diminutive stature that positioned him above the crowd that day, both physically and metaphorically. The sycamore tree lifted him above the limitations of his past, allowing him a clear view of the Savior.

When Jesus arrived at the spot, He did something unexpected; He called Zacchaeus by name, saying, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” This invitation was more than a request for hospitality; it was an offer of grace, extended to a man deemed unworthy by many.

The crowd murmured in disapproval, yet Zacchaeus’ response was immediate and joyful. He welcomed Jesus gladly, a gesture reflecting the openness of his heart. In the presence of Christ, Zacchaeus pledged to give half of his possessions to the poor and to repay fourfold anyone he had cheated. His actions were a testament to genuine repentance and faith.

Reflections on Faith and Sight

Zacchaeus’ story prompts us to consider our own faith. Do we, like Zacchaeus, seek to see Jesus despite the obstacles in our lives? Are we willing to climb our own sycamore trees, to rise above the crowd of doubts and fears? Zacchaeus’ encounter with Jesus illustrates that faith is not passive; it requires action, a step towards the LORD in earnest and love and trust overall.

  •  What are the ‘sycamore trees’ in our lives that we need to climb to see Jesus more clearly?
  • How can we demonstrate our faith through actions, as Zacchaeus did?
  • In what ways does Jesus call us by name, inviting us into a deeper relationship with Him?

Zacchaeus ’desire to see Jesus is refreshing and should be an example to us all. Seeking His face and finding the way to do so is a fundamental aspect of our Christianity – wishing to commune with Him-and following through on our recourse and connection with Christ, daily.

Zacchaeus’ story is a powerful reminder of the need to see and have Jesus in our lives. It speaks of a faith that is active and visible, one that compels us to rise above our circumstances and to welcome Jesus into the ‘houses’ of our hearts. May we all have the courage to seek a clearer view of the Savior and the faith to transform our lives in His presence.

When was the last time you “climbed a tree” to see Jesus? 

He’s worth it.

Never forget that- He also was high up on a “tree” – for us!

“Dear LORD, I thank You for the story of Zacchaeus, which teaches about Your boundless grace and the joy of transformation. Help me to seek You earnestly, to climb higher when my vision is obscured, and to respond to Your call with an open heart. May I, like Zacchaeus, experience the profound change that comes from encountering You. Guide me to live a life that reflects my faith, filled with acts of kindness and restitution. In Jesus’ name, I earnestly pray. Amen.”


C D SWANSON is an Author of 22 plus books, freelance writer, contributor to various websites, including The Bottom Line Ministries/Faith News. She's an active member of Faithwriters- and has her online website/ministry for over 15 years. It is her greatest joy to write what’s in her heart, and thus her favorite form of expression is in her devotionals. She and her husband share a deep love of God and dote on their fur baby Mickey. Retired Director from Long Term Healthcare Industry, she continues to be an advocate for many. To check out other writings of this author you can go here:

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  1. Never forget that- He also was high up on a “tree” – for us!

    what a great thught

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