Zacchæus was part of my reading this week. I love this guy. I’m prone to be impulsive myself, so I love impulsive people. I love the apostle, Peter, for this reason. Zacchæus wanted to see Christ but because he was “little of stature” (Luke 19:3) he couldn’t see over the crowd. So impulsively, he went ahead and climbed a tree. That’s serious determination.
He was rewarded for his efforts, when the Savior saw him and told hurry up and come down because He, the Savior, would be coming to Zacchæus’ house. Imagine how thrilled Zacchæus must have been. My heart feels happy for him just reading this story over a thousand years later.
I hope that Zacchaeus did not allow that to diminish his joy. There will always be “haters”. Even Christ, who was perfect, couldn’t please everyone. In fact, some became so angry with Him, that they sought His death. And why? He was perfect, so really wasn’t what He had done, but they way they interpreted it in their own hearts, for their own reasons. I think there are three main lessons from this. First, we can never please everyone. Second, because we can’t please everyone, we should focus of pleasing Christ. Finally, and this is the hard one, when we are upset, angry or disappointed with someone else, we need to at least consider that the way we see the situation may not be the TRUTH. We see life through the lens of our experience, which may help, or may deceive us. Often (perhaps most of the time) there is information we don’t know or see, that is needed to interpret the information correctly. Whatever the reasons, even when we think we understand a situation, we must remember that we “see through a glass darkly” as Paul said.
Two of my favorite books illustrate this idea (of not seeing everything clearly). They are Til We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis, and The Chosen by Chaim Potok. I highly recommend both of them, even if you’ve read them before. I like to read and re-read them as a reminder to myself to try and be as patient and loving with others as I hope they would be with me. Let’s rejoice with Zacchaeus and not condemn him, and perhaps we’ll be the next one favored to have the Savior visit our home.
Photo Attribution: Zacchaeus in the Sycamore Tree, by James Tissot – LDS Media