Up a Tree
August 14, 2013 • By Ed Wrather
Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” - Luke 19:1-10 NKJV.
Laddy was missing, and of course the family was upset. Cynthia Weeks said this, “I was beside myself. We went around calling for him, and I drove around. I put it on my facebook pages, and we put fliers out around the neighborhood.” Two days later Laddy showed up, literally up, as in up a tree! Ron Stevenson was doing some yard work when he heard the border collie barking, and whining, and he found the dog ten feet or more up in a tree! (Orange 08.14.13)
We once had a dog named Ernie (Named after Ernie of Bert and Ernie of Sesame Street fame.) that could climb, he was an escape artist. He could go over or under the fence. I buried chicken wire around the bottom of the fence and thought that would keep him in. We took a weekend trip, and when we came home we found our names on the front page of the local newspaper as owners of a dog (He had a collar and tags) that had scratched a little boy. The dog didn’t really bite the boy just jumped up and scratched him. The dog was at the pound, and it was as if we were criminals and they were looking for us. But it got worse as a day later the escape artist escaped from the pound, apparently climbed out. However, the second newspaper article, also on the front page, made it sound like we had staged a jail break and broke the dog out of the pound!
All of our families began the search for our little furry escape artist and finally Ernie heard us calling his name. We took him back to the pound, and after a few days Ernie was granted his release into our custody.
Zacchaeus climbed up a tree of his own free will; however, you have to think that even though he was rich, he was already up a proverbial tree. Zacchaeus was somehow up that proverbial tree and like the collie was unable to find a way down. Jesus was the answer that Zacchaeus had been waiting all of his life for; he found Jesus, but Jesus was already looking for him because, “…the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” I think you could say that Zacchaeus finally heard Jesus calling his name.
Life has a way of putting us up a tree at times. Who would think that you could go away on a little weekend trip and come home to find that you are public enemy number one of the entire community! But it happens…life happens, and the way out, the best way out is to look to Jesus, and He will help you down out of whatever tree you may have found yourself in. If you listen, you may just be able to hear Jesus calling your name, telling you to come down out of that tree!