By Alice Northcutt
Devotional Scripture: Luke 19:1–5
Central Thought: Jesus can help us through any problems we face.
Zacchaeus was short and could not see over the crowd, but this was not his biggest problem. His profession carried with it a pronounced stigma. Tax collectors had a reputation for greed and dishonesty. They were not trusted, and often this distrust was justified. They were a despicable lot. Who would have thought a tax collector, especially the chief tax collector, would have any interest in seeing Jesus or hearing what He had to say? Even more, who would have thought Jesus would be interested in seeing a tax collector and hearing what he had to say?
Perhaps Zacchaeus felt that he was "in over his head" in more ways than one. Maybe he wanted to break free from the stigma of his profession. Perhaps Zacchaeus did not feel comfortable in the crowd that thronged about him for fear he would be recognized and ridiculed for even being there. Zacchaeus' only hope to see the One of whom he had heard so much in recent days was to rise above the crowd. This led him to his perch in a sycamore tree where he could see Jesus without being hindered by the crowd.
As Jesus approached the tree, He looked up and called Zacchaeus to Him. How like Jesus to see us in our needs—our predicaments—our trees of despair where we climb when we are "in over our heads," when we can't see our way around the crowd that throngs about us. Wherever our tree and whatever our problem, Jesus also seeks us out and calls us to Him. He wants to spend time with us and draw us near to Him. He wants us to be open and honest with Him, willing to make changes in our lives. He wants to help us when we are in over our heads.
Devotional Prayer: Lord, help me to seek Your will daily and to always remember that You can help me through any problem I face.
Bible Reading: Joshua 16:1-18:28; Luke 19:1-27; Psalm 87:1-7; Proverbs 13:11