He was a little guy, and there was such a crowd between him and the Lord that he just couldn’t see (Luke 19:1-10). He only wanted a glimpse, and even that proved impossible. People do that. They’ll get in the way of our look at Jesus. They obscure our view. His physical stature hindered him. More likely, it will not be a matter of feet and inches but of focus. Later. Tomorrow. Next week. We will, promise, just not right now. Too many people in the way.
He was a man of means. He had been an insider, a top level manager in the bureaucracy of exploitation. That meant money in his pocket, and he had plenty but that did nothing to solve this issue. His big pile of money did not help one bit when it came to seeing Jesus. Our relationship with Him is not a cash transaction. He may have had an important position and a big bank account, but he did not have Jesus. Something drove him. Dissatisfaction? Maybe.
He figured a way around that hurdle. He climbed a tree. He was determined to look for himself. Who knows what he had heard or what motivated him, but something did. He was dead set on laying his eyes on the one they called Jesus. Forget pride. Never mind a tiny bit of embarrassment. He had to do something. It was a bit unconventional, but it worked. His life was about to change for all eternity. The Lord does notice those who are struggling to see Him.
Jesus sees in trees. He looked up and invited the little rich man to come down. Hurry up. We’re going to your house. It is hard to imagine the thoughts that must have run through his mind as he flew out of that tree. He hit the ground to the sound of self-righteous indignation. Jesus was keeping company with a sinner like that? Critics seemed always to be nipping at the heels of the Son of God. And they thought the man in the tree was small. They were the truly little ones.
He may have been short in stature but he was large on repentance. He was ready to distribute half his fortune to the needy and make restitution at the rate of four-to-one for all of his questionable taxing practices. It is amazing what a clear look at Jesus will do to a person. Salvation came home with him that day and everything was different, especially him.
Salvation seized him. It grabbed hold of his possessions and his pocketbook. They were suddenly insignificant. What Jesus brought him was all that mattered. The Son of Man came searching for the lost. Don’t we feel that way sometime? Totally bewildered and lost in the crowd? Cheer up and climb up. He came looking for people just like us.