"Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way." Luke 19:1-5
I have always loved this story. Maybe because I am short too. I was always on the end in choir. I was always one of the shortest in my class at school. Sometimes it made me feel marginalized, on the fringe. I also didn't like that song by Randy Newman about "short people."
What I love about this story is that Jesus noticed Zacchaeus up in that tree. He knew he was there beforehand because he paused right at the very spot where he was, perched there on the branch. Then he did something nobody expected......he invited him to dinner.
Jesus refused to let people feel marginalized. He noticed them......put them center stage. He got flack for it too, but He didn't care. He wasn't afraid to do the unpopular thing when it meant lifting someone else up, making them shine.
And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” 5-7
If you are feeling somewhat on the fringe today, the outer limits of life.......remember that Jesus notices you.
He sees you on the sidelines.
With your back against the wall.
The one that doesn't want to be center stage.
The one watching from a distance.
The one watching from the tree.