So he [Zacchaeus] ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him [Jesus], for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” (Luke 19:4-5)
For some odd reason, this passage jumped at me this morning. The story of Zacchaeus usually focuses on his interaction with him and Jesus, and how Zacchaeus repented of his sins in light of what Jesus has done for him. But this trivial sycamore tree plays a not-so-trivial role in Zacchaeus’s salvation: he climbed onto this tree to get a glimpse of Jesus, and it is at this tree where Jesus first asked to stay at his house.
What a privilege it is to be that sycamore tree! What an honor! That upon my shoulders, people would be able to get a better glimpse of Jesus! That through me, people would encounter Jesus personally and receive their calling! No, the story is not about the tree — it’s probably long gone and forgotten now — and rightly so, because the story is about Jesus. Isn’t that what really matters in the end after all?
Paul understood this clearly. He understood that his calling, sacrifice, and message are ultimately not about him at all: “We have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” (2 Cor 4:7)
Make me a sycamore tree, that through me others may catch a glimpse of Jesus and encounter Him in a real and personal way.
"We are saved, sanctified, and sustained by what Jesus did for us on the cross and through the power of his resurrection. If you add to or subtract from the cross, even if it is to factor in biblically mandated religious practices like prayer and evangelism, you rob God of his glory and Christ of his sufficiency."
- Matt Chandler, The Explicit Gospel