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Zacchaeus was a hated man. He was a tax collector who took money from his countrymen and gave it to the occupying Romans. To his neighbors, he was a thief and he had become wealthy because of it.
Here comes Jesus into town and Zacchaeus is intrigued. Who is this Jesus everyone is talking about? Because he was shorter than the average citizen of Jericho, Zacchaeus had to find a higher place in order to catch a glimpse of Jesus. He climbed a sycamore tree. In effect, he did all he could to see Jesus.
When Jesus passed by he called out to Zacchaeus by name and said to him, “Come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.”
Calling Zacchaeus by name and using the word “must” indicates that Jesus had come to find Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was the reason for Jesus’ visit to Jericho.
Here is the twist. Although Zacchaeus thought he was doing all he could by climbing the tree to see Jesus, all along Jesus was the one who was seeking Zacchaeus.
Here is the answer to the question, “Is it possible for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven?” For Zacchaeus, because of Jesus, it was possible.
For us, because of Jesus, it is also possible to find the Kingdom of God, despite our failings. We want to see Jesus, but Jesus is already looking for us! All we need to do is accept the call of Jesus to let him stay in the house of our souls.
As Jesus said at the end of the Gospel today, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” Like the woman who found the lost coin, the shepherd who found the lost sheep, the father who ran toward his wayward son, Jesus came to find Zacchaeus — and us!
Have a blessed week everyone.