Searching for Something More
What, do you suppose, Zacchaeus was looking for as he climbed the sycamore
tree? Perhaps he was fascinated by the spectacle of a large crowd gathered
around this stranger passing through Jericho. But was he just looking
for a “better view”? We might imagine that, just as the crowds knew
this was no ordinary stranger, so did Zacchaeus. Far from looking for
a “better view,” Zacchaeus seemed to be looking for something more.
Chief tax collectors and wealthy individuals do not easily make spectacles
of themselves; no, Zacchaeus had more in mind than a better view.
When we hear Jesus address the people of the Church of Laodicea, he quotes
their own words in criticism: “I am rich and affluent and have no need
of anything.” What makes them “lukewarm, neither hot nor cold,” is
a position of self-satisfaction; they have “no need.” The logic
is simple and direct: no need, no need for God, no way to find God.
We might imagine that Zacchaeus went looking for Jesus because, amidst his
wealth and position, he still felt some need, a need for “something more.”
His spontaneous conversion which accompanies the news that Jesus is coming
to eat at his house, speaks loudly about someone who has found what he was
One of the most difficult things to admit is that we have needs, that we
are not self-sufficient. In a world which proclaims the importance
of needing no one, of being independent, much conversion and holiness is
lost by believing that lie. Zacchaeus encourages us to be bold in acknowledging
our needs, and then to seek, to do whatever it takes to find the One without
whom we have no life.
What do we need today? Where are the holes, the places of blessed poverty
that we would rather hide from others? Are we aware of our fears, inadequacies
or failures? With them in mind, may we “climb the sycamore tree,” seeking
Jesus so that we too may discover a new way of living.