Arm-length Faith

By: Kristen L. McNulty

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In the book of Luke, chapter 19, we read the story of Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus' story has always been a favorite of mine because it is easy to relate to.

Here we have a guy who seems to have it all together. Living in Israel, being a Jew meant that he has all of his religious cards in the right place. As a tax collector, he may have been hated by the common man, but amoung those at the top, his wealth could only serve to increase his stature. And working for the Romans meant politically he was secure. Yet even though on the outside things looked good, Zacchaeus was a guy searching for something more.

One day as Jesus was making His way through town something lead Zacchaeus to want to see Him. Maybe it was the stories of miracles. Maybe it was the large crowd who had gathered or maybe Zacchaeus was just lonely. Whatever it was, it was a good enough reason to compell him to climb a tree just to watch Jesus amongst the crowd.

Here the story takes a little twist. As Jesus is walking by, he stops in front of the tree, looks up and calls Zacchaeus to come down and take Him home.

Now while for Zacchaeus the story doesn't end there, for many people it does. They observe Jesus from their own version of a tree and when He calls them to come down and spend time with Him, they either remain in the tree or walk in the other direction. You may think I'm talking about unbelievers here, but I think this can apply to any one of us.

Many of us have come down from our trees to accept Christ, but then somewhere along the way, have climbed back up and there we remain. Observing, even respecting, but not interacting.

That's not the kind of relationship that Jesus wants with us. Jesus calls us to invite Him into the everyday. The times at school, the disagreements with our siblings, the troubles at work, the struggles with friends. He wants to be a part of it all. Staying up in a tree may be a good vantage point if you're bird watching, but that's not where we are really living our lives.

So what happens when we climb down from the tree and take Jesus home with us? Well Zacchaeus found out that that little step forever changes your life. Zacchaeus didn't just go back to the same old life, he was given a new life that completly changed him and that's the same life that Jesus offers you today.

The question all comes down to whether or not you're going to get out of your tree.

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This devotional was aired as a part of the Making A Difference Christian Radio Show.