"And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down: for to day I must abide at thy house.
And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost." (Luke 19:1-10)
Jesus has come to Jericho, that great city on the edge of the Jordan river valley.
As He enters the city, He heals Blind Bartimaeus! News of this miracle spreads through Jericho like a wild fire!
Zacchaeus is sitting in his plush office. He is fabulously rich, and has climbed the ranks of the tax collecting business. How ruthless and calloused he must have been to gain such wealth in such a dirty business?
Some one comes running into the office, and tells his secretary, "Jesus of Nazareth has come to town, and has just given Bartimaeus his sight!"
Perhaps Zacchaeus went to school with Bartimaeus? Certainly, he has known Bartimaeus a long time!
And, maybe, Zacchaeus has been hearing other things about Jesus of Nazareth.
Already, crowds of people are gathering along the streets of Jericho. Zach rises from his seat, and goes to the door. He hears the excitement of the people. Curiosity takes him. He must see this man, so, "...he sought to see Jesus who he was;..." (v. 3)
Zacchaeus is not a tall man, and he can not see Jesus over the heads of the others. So, he looks down the street, and sees a tree.
He lifts his long flowing robe, and runs ahead!
He ascends the tree by way of its branches!
And, when high enough to see, he perches on a limb, and waits for Jesus to walk by!
What must the others have thought? Is that Zacchaeus in that tree?
Then, Jesus walks up, and stops. He looks up at Zacchaeus! Not many people have ever done that, before.
Then, Jesus calls him by name, and invites Himself to Zacchaeus' house!
Have you ever noticed how slick the bark is on a sycamore tree? It's because Zacchaeus tore it off coming down that tree! Haha! (Actually, it was a different tree from our sycamores.)
Zacchaeus had every thing a worldly man could possibly want. But something was still missing in his life. What was missing is the thing that only Jesus can give you!
Zacchaeus "...received him joyfully." (v. 6)
Zacchaeus gave half of his wealth to the poor, and then vowed to restore any thing that he had taken by fraud, four times.
He was willing to give it all away! Not for Jesus! But because Jesus had come into his heart, and all of his wealth didn't mean any thing to him anymore!
Salvation had become his treasure! It was worth more to him than any thing else this world could offer!
Jesus is that pearl of great price! So excellent is He, that the merchant sold all of his pearls, just to have the greatest of all treasures. (Matthew 13:45-46)
That is who Jesus is! Zacchaeus saw "...who he was;..." (v. 3)
From my heart to your heart.