“He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not…So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way… ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.’ Luke 19:3-5.
He was not a tall man and most likely was a dishonest man. He was a tax collector in Jericho and no doubt had double taxed the residents, creating financial burden. He was known as a sinner among the people. ‘All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”’ Luke 19:7. This was the third visit of Jesus as He and His entourage approached Jericho. Zacchaeus had most likely heard the stories of this man and was curious to put a face with those stories. Very aware of his ‘shortcomings’ he ran up ahead of the crowd, shimmied up a tree and inched his way onto a branch. He made the mistake of thinking in order to see Jesus he must elevate himself.
We will be able to meet Jesus on His terms when we settle in our mind once and for all that we will never do enough or be enough to earn His love. Notice that after all of the striving to position himself above the others, Zacchaeus was told by Jesus to immediately come down. The terms were clear. In order for Jesus to fellowship with this man it wouldn’t be in some distant situation for which Zacchaeus arranged, but rather on Jesus’ terms.
God isn’t interested in a distant relationship with His children. He wants more than a sighting from a branch here and there. He wants us to climb down immediately to our knees and fellowship with Him. He sees us where we are and invites Himself into our homes. He finds us in our shortcomings and shows us a way out of them.
If we are wait until we get a better view or become a better person before we approach Jesus we will miss the passing of the Lord. We cannot truly fellowship with Him until we realize that the only branch that will support us is the branch that is connected to the one true Vine.
'I am the vine; you are the branches...Apart from me you can do nothing.' John 15:5.