He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. Luke 19:3-4
By the time Jesus made it to Jericho, the buzz around the region about this man causing offense wherever he went and claiming to be the Messiah was strong. With news of him coming to Jericho, the tax collector Zacchaeus was bound and determined to see him. Scripture tells us there was a large crowd that had formed and I’m pretty confident many were shouting to buy a simple glance. But Zachhaeus was a bit less likely to be heard, to be seen or able to see Jesus as He entered the city. So despite the noise and distractions, he climbed a tree and found himself on a front row seat. And, in the midst of the crowd, Jesus calls his name and has a life-changing conversation with Zachhaeus.
How easy is it to become distracted by the noise of our world? Phones, messages, demands, schedules, opinions, family, people to name only a few of the many things that keep us from hearing or seeing Jesus daily. The noise in my life right now is pretty loud — so loud that when I ride around in my car lately, I do so without the radio, so I can think. Our society bombards us with noise that demands our time and attention. But settling for the mere chance of Him walking near enough to grab His words speaks loudly enough of what I might think or expect in my own noise.
The beauty of Jesus is He has promised never to abandon, leave or forsake me and that alone brings me comfort. But with the noise so loud and His whispering words to me, how am I supposed to hear Him? I am listening, but so many things are crowding the streets of my life.
I’m taking a lesson from Zachhaeus, I’m climbing a tree! Zach had it right — when things get noisy, noisy shouldn’t win! His circumstances didn’t give him many benefit and an even smaller chance of being heard or seen. So, as long as I continue to allow the noise to distract me from what is True — I’ll never hear what He has to say to me. So, up I go!
Lord Jesus, I want to remain gazed on you at all times!! There are times when I lose sight of you amidst the crowd and lose the clarity of your voice in the noise of my circumstances. Clear for me the fog to see you clearly and silence the rambles of gossip and false teachings so my eyes will remain on the beauty of you alone. It is in you I trust – despite the noise!