“So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree . . .” Luke 19:4
Things can be different. Hope staring into the face of defeat is audacious. The very idea of change in any area of life takes uncommon courage. It takes a kind of positive courage.
There are two types of courage. There is spur of the moment courage, when we are confronted with a crisis, a moment of turmoil and, suddenly, without hesitation, we throw ourselves into the situation and fight for the greater outcome.
Secondly, there’s supreme courage. When someone, seeing there’s a terrible situation ahead, haunted by its looming presence, knowing it would be easier to turn back and avoid it all together, yet, moves steadfastly forward.
Jericho was one of the most beautiful and wealthy cities in Palestine. Famous for its lush gardens and balsam groves. It was a wealthy and important town, it was a land of commerce and trade, which made tax collecting a prosperous occupation. Such affluence could lull the heart into passivity.
But behind the beauty and bounty of the city, there was unrest. At least there was in a man named Zacchaeus. He was an unfulfilled man. Something was missing. He wanted more out of life than just mere things. He knew if things continued as they were, prosperity would grow darker and heavier. Therefore, in a show of supreme courage, he sought to meet Jesus.
Zacchaeus would let nothing stop him from seeing Jesus. For him to move through the crowd was an act of courage. Many of those Zacchaeus had over-taxed would take their aggression out on him with a kick, push, or punch. He would have been beaten and bruised that day. This little man had the courage of desperation. He ran through the crowd on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree. It was an easy tree to climb with its short trunk and its wide lateral branches forking out in all directions. He made it. He saw Jesus.
Zacchaeus’ determined courage is our lesson. Don’t let the sight of difficulty make you faint. Instead, allow it to stir you up to overcome. Salvation requires bravery, courage, and tenacity. Keep pressing in to know Jesus.
What’s challenging your faith right now?