Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Man in the Tree

“No one can come to me unless the Father draws him.” ~ John 6:44

There was a tax collector who got the urge to see Jesus.  A crowd had already lined the streets where Jesus would soon be traveling and the tax collector could not see over them.  He climbed a sycamore tree to get a better view.

As Jesus passed by, he called out, "Zaccheaus, hurry down, for I mean to stay at your house today."  The crowd was stunned, afterall, this tax collector behaved like a traitor to his own people, extorting money and becoming wealthy.  Dining with a sinner in his own home was considered spiritual impurity.

Zaccheaus sensed the anger in the crowd and did not want to miss out on the opportunity to get close to Jesus.  "I will give half my possessions to the poor," he said.  "And if I cheated anyone, I will repay them four-fold."

In spite of all his riches, something was missing  for Zaccheaus.  As Jesus walked the road of Jericho, He called Zaccheaus by his own name.  Zaccheaus couldn't wait to scurry down that tree and meet Jesus.  If Jesus is able to welcome a criminal like Zaccheaus into His heart, shouldn't we also welcome those around us who hurt us in the past?

Is that grudge you are holding onto weighing you down?  I carried one around for so long that it made by back hurt.  The pain was excruciating and lasted for over three years.  It did not go away until I learned to let go and forgive. Yes.  I am free.  I can play tennis for hours and hours without any pain whatsoever.   No doctors, no chiropractors, no pain killers.  No more loads of concrete on my shoulders from my past.  Just a brand new life and a new attitude.  It is amazing how much more beautiful the world appears when you let go of the anger you are holding in from something that happened so long ago.

You don't have to climb a tree to see Jesus.  Just close your eyes and ask Him to come to you.  I promise you, He will come into your heart, all you have to do is invite Him.  He is already knocking at the door.

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