What happens next is surprising given his (civil) high status. He runs ahead of the people, and climbs a tree in order to be able to see Jesus when he came along. This is quite undignified behaviour for a man like Zacchaeus, and likely to attract sneers and sniggers from the crowd. Zacchaeus’ desire to see Jesus overcame any embarrassment at appearing foolish.
I invite you to ponder, what sort of obstacles do you find in your path as you seek to respond to Jesus? Sometimes the obstacles are what others put in our path, but sometimes they are of our own making. Zacchaeus may have decided that the spectacle of looking foolish in front of the crowd was not worth it, and so turned home instead. Possibly, he could have been taking a risk, putting himself in a vulnerable position because of his unpopularity. Perhaps not the risking of his life, but the letting go of his wealth could have been another major obstacle, as it was for the rich young man whose story we heard in last Sunday’s gospel. But praise be to God, for this encouraging story, a good news story, of this man who overcame these obstacles in his desire to respond fully to Jesus.
So do you see obstacles? They are a cause for prayer, perhaps a cause for courage, or a cause for faith and trust in the Lord.
“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ”
1 Thessalonians 1:11-12
With love and peace in the Lord, Jennie