You boys get down out of that tree, right now! I meant it, right now!
Okay, we weren’t known as the Dirty Little Glover Boys for nothin. We had worked hours to reach our lofty perch atop that giant cottonwood tree aside our house. We had cuts and scrapes all over our head and shoulders, knees and toes, but it was worth it. Wow, you could almost see Miami from there…
It was late spring, and the sap was oozing from the bark of the tree, so our bodies and clothes were a sticky mess. Our cutoff overalls, made into shorts, would likely never be the same and we knew mom would not be happy about that. But we had to do it, we had to see the sight from up there. We had tried the roof top many times, but you could only see Gladys Street from there and we wanted to see farther. So, we fearlessly shimmied up that humongous tree, we had to, it was the only way to accomplish our objective.
No more had we reached the treetop than boom, busted! It was sure a lot easier to climb down than it was to climb up. But I can still feel the tension well up inside as I recall the dread I felt as I cascaded down the rough bark of that tree. Well, you can probably imagine the reception we received once safely down…those weathered old cutoffs sure were thin.
Did you know there’s a story in Luke about a tree-climber? He shimmied up a sycamore tree trying to overcome some obstacles to enhance his view too. But he wasn’t trying to see a distant town, he was on the lookout for Jesus. He worked hard to gain that vantage point, only to be called down too. But the reception he received was much different that ours. No “pick you switch” for Zacchaeus. No, something very different happened for him, and Luke tells the story masterfully.
I hope you can join us tomorrow for the Zoom meeting as we explore the familiar tale of wee little Zacchaeus from Luke 19:1-10. Jesus’ surprise response angered the crowd, but it painted a very important mini portrait of the gospel itself. In fact, some have said that Christianity can be summed up entirely in the few words Jesus spoke in this passage. You won’t want to miss it.
For those unable to join us in person, please feel free to download the Bible study materials for your personal use by following one of these links: PowerPoint Slides, PDF File. Also, you can download files for previous weekly studies by visiting the following page on my blog: Doubtless Living: The Gospel of Luke.