When was the last you time you became curious about Jesus? Curious enough to climb a tree to catch a glimpse of him? Last Sunday we heard the story of Zacchaeus and his spiritual transformation. It’s always been my favorite bible story-ever since the 1st time I remember reading it in 3rd grade. It probably had more to do with the fact that I could picture it in my head rather than the actual lesson behind it. (Most bible passages can be challenging to read, much less understand.) This time, however, I felt a strong connection to the lesson Luke wants us to learn–to be curious about Jesus and he’ll take care of the rest.
I think Luke and Acts are the easiest books of the bible to read because Luke (the author of both books) is a masterful story teller. Without using a ton of words, he paints a picture for us to conjure in our minds. Luke is the one who mentions swaddling clothes in the nativity story and is the only one to tell us about Zacchaeus.
Luke sets the scene by telling us Jesus was just passing through town. Jesus didn’t intend to spend any time there much less sit down for a meal or possibly spend the night. Luke also tells us Zacchaeus is not a tall person and would have trouble seeing Jesus if he were among the crowd.
Painting the Picture
However, Zacchaeus’ curiosity about Jesus was strong. So stong, the short, wealthy man was willing to climb a sycamore tree just to see him. See what the big deal about this teacher was. Zacchaeus was also thought of as a crook-exhorting extra taxes to make a cushy life for himself. So picture that for a moment. Danny Divito playing this middle-aged crook, whom everybody talks about behind his back, climbing up this tall tree with white branches and huge leaves. That must’ve been a sight.
And it caught Jesus’ attention.
Zacchaeus’ curiosity was the spark that changed his whole life-and that of many others in Jericho that day.
It really reminded me of my own spiritual growth. Even though I’m not a ‘short’ person, for most of my life, I was short on faith. While I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of, (mostly trying to fill my God-sized hole with things that led me further away from him), I had a change in heart when I started becoming curious about Jesus and started noticing and feeling his blessings.
A Whole New World
A whole new world opened up for me. I experienced more peace in my heart, joy in my life, better relationships with my husband, family and friends. I’ve realized life is no longer a power struggle. As children of God, we are all enough–just as we are. Worthy and deserving of God’s love–all we have to do is turn to him and receive it.
It takes practice and each person’s journey is different. That’s why I work with my clients to figure out what prayer practices work best for them. I spark their curiosity about our Triune God, ways to connect with him and ways to honor their body (his creation and where part of him lives) with smarter food choices and body movement.
Curiosity is a powerful tool for habit change. When we’re curious about something, we enjoy it more. And if I’m gonna go through change-it better be fun!