So [Zacchaeus] ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way. When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
Luke 19:4-5 NLT
Last Christmas, Jayne and I attended our church Christmas party. As we sat at a table wondering who would join us, I felt quite vulnerable. I am more introvert than extrovert; it demands huge amounts of energy to engage with people I don’t know. On that day everything within me wanted to make my excuses and flee, something I’d done many times throughout my life. Although I broadcast and am happy to speak from a platform, these are contexts created for me. Conversation demands I create a context for myself with others, which raises my deepest insecurities.
My insecurities mean I lean towards speaking badly of myself. This is in opposition to what God says of me. Like Zacchaeus, I’m fascinated by Jesus, yet perhaps from a safe distance.
Here the tax collector is most aware of the hostility, even contempt, with which society holds him, as well as feeling he is not the type of material for Jesus’ team. However, assuming anonymity failed to hide him from Jesus’ gaze. Not only does Jesus acknowledge him, but invites himself for tea.
Like Zacchaeus, whatever our situation in life, Jesus is with us and always wants to take tea with us in our home. This is where we discover we are more than our doubts and insecurities. Like Zacchaeus, we need to gift ourselves to others, friend and foe alike, regardless of how we might be received or rejected. Then we may become the threshold on which others will find faith for themselves.
Are you hiding away from people or God?
Let my confidence be in you, Jesus; help me not to depend on the acceptance and approval of others – but instead let it be based