“Zacchaeus was a wee little man, and a wee little man was he!” If you didn’t get to sing that in Sunday school as a kid, you were missing out.
Luke goes to great pains to point out to us that Zacchaeus was short in stature, but he means it in terms of more than just his physical height (or lack thereof).
Zacchaeus doesn’t have much moral stature either. He’s not just a tax collector, but a chief tax collector.
Luke says that he’s rich, and we can read into that “filthy rich with ill-gotten gains.”
This is not an admirable man. In fact his moral stature is so low that he can’t even see Jesus.
But one of Zacchaeus’ greatest characteristics is his lack of self-consciousness.
He is curious about Jesus, and he is determined to see Jesus.
So Zacchaeus, a rich and well-known figure in the community, climbs a tree to see Jesus, no matter how ridiculous it may look.
It is not a dignified posture, and immediately draws attention to Zacchaeus’ physical shortness, that he has to take this step to see over the crowd.
Could we infer that he also boldly reveals his lack of moral stature as he climbs this tree in the imaginative universe of this story?
If he is not afraid to be seen to be too physically short to see Jesus, is he equally courageous in admitting his lack of ethical worthiness?
How could we do the same?
How could we approach Jesus with an utter lack of self-consciousness, exactly as we are? Continue reading