“So he ran ahead and climbed up…”– Luke 19:4
The English Baptist Pastor and Evangelist, F. B. Meyer wrote, “Loneliness is an opportunity for Jesus to make Himself known.” Sometimes the loneliest people are those we place on a pedestal. No status or occupation in life can save from the adversary of loneliness. Jesus is the only One that said He will never leave us nor forsake us. To discover Jesus is to find the truth. Many times that comes through a silent cry of the soul for help. Do we not learn this in the heart of Zacchaeus?
Zacchaeus was a wealthy man. He became wealthy by oppressing his own people. Although he was rich, he was empty inside. He was lonely. His loneliness came to fruition when he climbed up into the sycamore tree just to see Jesus walking by. Indeed Zacchaeus became a little child. This is the only way anyone can enter into the kingdom of God (Mark 10:15; Matthew 18:3).
Hiding up in that tree behind the branches and the leaves, Zacchaeus thought he was unseen. Jesus knew he was there. When Jesus approached, He looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. The Jewish man Zacchaeus may have forgotten the God of his youth, but our Lord never forgot him. It is as if Jesus’ eyes met Zacchaeus’ and reminded him, “I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands” (Isaiah 49:15-16).
Zacchaeus came to a point in his soul where his loneliness and emptiness could no longer be filled with the life he chose. He never cried out loudly before the crowd, as Bartimaeus did. It was a silent SOS from his heart. He thought he could not be seen or heard. But Jesus did hear, and He did see. Although he was headed to shed His blood on the cross, the Lord stopped to make sure Zacchaeus’ faith in Him was acknowledged. Jesus brought salvation to that sinner’s house, and He brings redemption to us today as well. Are you crying out to Christ from loneliness and despair today? Rest assured, He sees you, and He hears you. Respond to the Lord’s call because “today is the day of salvation!”
“Loneliness is the evidence that I was expecting others to meet my needs as only God can.”– Bill Gothard