JULY 16 - Matthew 18:3-4 and Luke 19:2-4

By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

"Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 18:3-4

"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 of little stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him; for He went to pass that way."
Luke 19:2-4

Memory Catcher: Zacc Appeared Childlike to Christ. Our memory help lies in the first four letters of Zacchaeus's name and defines his personhood and his approach to Christ beautifully. Exceeding the defining of a name, Zacchaeus also walks us into the spiritual promise of childlike entrance necessary for reception into the kingdom of heaven.
Zacchaeus is one of the most distinct, refreshing, inviting characters in the Bible.
 In a simple, unorthodox, childlike way he lays down his pocketbook, possessions, pride, power, and pretense and goes after something, finally, of substance.
Uncharacteristic of the masses that followed Christ, Zacchaeus claims the first tree available and climbs it ... and from his "front row" seat he is able to see Jesus and Jesus is able to see him.
And He likes him.
Think on it a moment, friend.
All day long the masses are probing, prodding, touching, poking trying to get near Jesus and suddenly ... this grown up acts "un-grown up like" and he gets a standing ovation in Jesus' book.
 I believe with all my heart that a big smile lit up inside the Son of God when He saw Zacchaeus.
Far from being ostracized, criticized, or despised, Christ was delighted with the attempt Zacchaeus made to be near him and He honored it.
"Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house."
Luke 19:5
Jesus and Zacchaeus ...
Even their names are beautiful together.
The day in the tree turned to be the day of salvation; and the man who had taken so much from others now gave his life and livelihood to Jesus and returned it all ... and then some.
According to the rest of the passage there were many disgruntled, irritated, annoyed folks that day at Jesus' poor choice in "dining" selection.
Jesus did it anyway.
Zacchaeus had to let what people thought go ... and let Jesus take care of them.
We must do the same.
Come to Jesus in whatever state you find yourself in and approach Him in the way that suggests you want Him more than anything ... and He'll respond to you.
Jesus has a soft spot for the unpretentious and childlike.
Get up in your tree and see for yourself.
Merciful Father,
How you long for the childlike side of our grown-up souls to be shown You.
How you long for us to see you from a sycomore tree instead of a ground view; 
To be found of You and be found by You in a childlike way.
Forgive us for our sophisticated attempts to reach You and our adult display of generic "nothingness."
Cause our approach to You to be genuine, enthusiastic, and without thought of what others might think or say of us.
Love the "one" who boldy climbs the sycomore.
Cause me to be the "one."
*If you're all tired out of Christian grown-ups and their critical gaze and jabber; I urge you to read the story of Zacchaeus. You'll be inspired wonderfully.
Luke 19:1-10