Monday, February 9, 2015
The other night I went to a worship service with our church and I began to think of a man in the Bible. He was a blind man. He wanted to be healed and so he stood in front of the only One he knew could do so. Very gently but intentionally Jesus bent down and took dirt in His hands and mixed it with His spit and smushed it in the man's eyes. The man didn't move. He stood there and let Jesus do this bizarre thing to him. I don't know what Jesus was really doing. I don't know why he chose to put mud in this man's eyes. And he didn't explain it as you would suppose - He just did it. Then he told the man to wash in the pool of Siloam. So, off he went to do exactly as Jesus had instructed him. In the end, the man was totally healed. So you can imagine, that he wouldn't have for even a second regretted that he let Jesus do what ever he did - however odd that it seemed.
There was another man in the Bible. His name was Zacheuus. He wasn't a well liked man because he was a tax collector and well known for cheating people out of a lot of money. But this particular day, Jesus was coming to his town and Zaccheus wanted to see him. He wanted to see what this fuss was all about. He just wanted to observe this Man who healed and spoke in strange parables and had such power over crowds. He just wanted a glimpse of Him. Most of us know this story well. He was a small man and he knew that he wouldn't be able to push to the front of the crowd very easily. People wouldn't let him in because, as we remember, people didn't care much for him. Before he even got to where Jesus was, he had devised a plan. He knew just what he was going to do. He would climb a sycamore tree!! Above everyone, he would be able to see Jesus. He would be able to see what was happening in the crowd below.
It was working well until Jesus saw him! Imagine how horrified he would have felt as Jesus began slowly walking up to his tree and gazing up at him. What would He do? What would He say? Surely, he KNEW everything about him. Zaccheus could sense that the minute Jesus started staring into his eyes. I imagine that he wanted to run. I imagine that he wanted to climb down the tree and get out of there at lightening speed. He felt as though he had been caught. But he was paralyzed. He couldn't move a muscle as the power of His stare gripped his very soul. He hung onto the tree branch, hanging on for dear life. And then Jesus spoke. And in one sentence, one paragraph, one moment, his life was changed forever. Jesus wanted to come to his house. Jesus didn't hate him. Jesus didn't shun him. Jesus wanted to be with him.
Zacchaeus woke up like any other day. He got ready for the day like any other day. He had one interruption to his day and that was to climb a tree to see a Man who was changing the world as he knew it. It wasn't going to be a huge deal. He was just going to take a peek at this guy and then go about his daily business. Little did he know that that he would be climbing down the tree a different man than when he climbed up. Little did he know that the very act of climbing that tree, that day would culminate in a miracle for his life. Zacchaeus repented of his wayward ways, Jesus saved him, Zacchaeus gave back all the money that he had cheated people out of, and he was a different man. Completely reinvented. What would have happened had Zacchaeus decided against climbing that tree? What would have happened had he decided that he just had too much to do and besides climbing a tree to see Jesus was just too beneath him? Only little kids climbed trees. It was embarrassing. It was humbling. It was downright crazy. But on the other side of that crazy act; on the other side of the unconventional thing to do - was his miracle. It was that thing that turned his life upside down.
I look through the Bible and there are many times where Jesus reaches out his hands and the miracles flow. Then there are many times that he required the recipient to do something - and sometimes something even strange. But on the other side of the obedience was always a miracle; a life changed.
My question for you today is - what is your sycamore tree? What is that thing that he is asking you to do? He may simply be asking you to take a leap of faith and follow him - believe in him wholeheartedly. He may be nudging you to do something you have known for a long time. Or he may be asking you to do something that you think is bizarre. Whatever he is asking you to do whether it is big or small, listen to him. Your miracle may be waiting for you on the other side of that sycamore tree.