The Sycamore Tree – LUKE 19:1-10
If Zacchaeus was anything, he was a seeker – a desperate seeker at that. Who was this Jesus that was turning lives around and even upside down? Did He speak truth…eternal truth that changed hearts and re-routed people’s life journeys? Was He THE TRUTH? He had to know!
He planned his intersection with Jesus. He was feeling inexplicably drawn to Him and so he was compelled to make contact with Him…. at whatever the cost. Here Zacchaeus is, the chief tax collector running to find his place of intersection. He, as the chief collector and coming from a very prestigious family, was supposed to act refined and dignified and somewhat aloof. But not now. He was on a mission that (unknown to him)would totally rearrange his life and actually give him new life.
Nothing could stop him. Not the opinions of others and their shock and sarcastic remarks at one who never hurried for anything or anybody. Not his usual calloused indifference to anything that was not to his advantage for material gain. For deep down inside he felt this craving for completeness and meaning and purpose that had escaped him up to this point in his life. Maybe, just maybe Jesus was the One who could give his life meaning and completeness.
So Zacchaeus positioned himself high up in that sycamore tree – a tree he had passed by countless times. Humbled by hanging from his perch in the tree, tuned out to the ruthless remarks of those who despised him, he strained to see when Jesus would pass by. And then it happened, the intersection between the life-giving life of Jesus and the craving need of a man who was desperate. Jesus “looked up and said…” (to Zacchaeus), “I must stay at your house today.” Jesus, Himself was compelled to initiate a life changing-intersection with the tree climber.
The sycamore tree became the intersecting place. The pursuing heart of Jesus became the intersecting life gift and the aching emptiness of a man became the reason for the eternal intersection that changed his life forever. And Zacchaeus hurried again and climbed down from the tree and “received him joyfully.” Life found. Sins forgiven. Joy initiated. Care for others given.
All because of an intersected life!
AND I ASK MYSELF THE QUESTION, HOW DESPERATE AM I FOR INTERSECTING WITH JESUS?
HOW DESPERATE ARE YOU?
This is the post excerpt.
Life’s turns and twists are never random. God said so when He – God the Holy Spirit – inspired David to write the words ” The steps of a man are established by the Lord….” Psalm 37:23. God establishes not just the general direction for a person’s life, but the actual day by day and minute by minute, step by step movement that eventually determines life’s ultimate outcome . And when our steps are “established” by the Lord , they are “put in place” – the place that our God determines. This truth is further established in the following verse (verse 24) when the Lord is pictured as holding his hand or upholding his hand. The hand in this context is an open hand, (in contrast to a clenched one) open to receiving the directive nudges of the One who is grasping it.
I once had a much older friend who eventually lost her sight and became very unsteady on her feet. Age had taken its toll and in her frailty I would often take her hand to provide stability and safe direction. I found that in her safe home environment in which she had lived over fifty years, she was much more secure and independent. She knew the turns and twists of her home. She knew the steps to take to get her to any room in her house; but when we were out in town and would come to intersecting streets, she leaned more heavily upon my hand and would wait for me to take the lead. My grip would always tighten as we approached the intersection because I knew navigating that intersection was critical in getting us to our destination – and was for her also more dangerous.
Our life paths always have turns and twists, but they also have intersections. It is at the point of intersections that life can be dramatically altered. I have found that God Himself is in the “intersection” business. And He most frequently uses His Word and other people to do His intersection work in our lives. When He intersects my life with people or with a pounding truth from His Word, and I have an open hand to receive from Him, I discover life moves in a gloriously different and more profoundly wonderful direction.
So looking at the ways in which the all-knowing and all-powerful God intersects our lives and the lives of others in secular history and in the Bible is the purpose of this blog. We ALL have had intersections with God. Standing still at an intersection instigated by Him is never an option. We must move in one direction or another. His intersections invite us to journey. When we become aware of our divinely-designed intersections, we discover the exhilaration that comes as we grip His hand and move in His direction that leads to His ultimate purpose for creating us.