To my surprise Sycamore trees can grow quite big, well really I shouldn’t be surprised because Zacchaeus had climbed up in one.. Jesus goes to the tree and looking up at Zacchaeus invites himself to his place to dinner.. I wonder what that would feel like to want to see someone so much you would just climb up a tree and then to have that person announce they wanted to come to your place to dinner..The people around him were annoyed, “why should Jesus hang out with this crook” it says in the message.. Let’s be truthful they were jealous.. They were wishing why didn’t he want to come to my place for dinner? a number of the translations have an interesting response from Zacchaeus, some make it sound like just because Jesus choose him now he would do the right thing, but others actually talk in terms that he was already doing the right thing..
It is interesting what we see when we look at people.. How easily we can be corrupted by fear and gossip.. The assumption, due to his job was that he was automatically dodgy, but this was just the label that the community put on him not necesarily the reality of who he was. To see Zacchaeus, you had to look past the forest to see the trees, or in this drawing case past the tree to see the leaves and what was hiding in it..
This weekend it is coming up to Halloween, lots of kids in our neighbourhood get dressed up in scary clothes and knock on the neighbours doors.. It is the only time in our neighbourhood when you will find lots of our neighbours out and about walking the street. I live in a very multicultural suburb, there are Christians , Muslims, Sheiks, Buddhists and I am sure many more I do not know about.. We could look at the other and be scared of what we see and feel threatened, creating enclaves that only add to the fear and mistrust, or we can take off the masks we put on people and hand out some hospitality and discover people are usually an amazing example of humanity, well at least a lot more like us than we realised!!