Once upon a time, in a plain dusty city, there was a certain man passing through. One rich man in that town caught wind of this news and went by to watch this certain man pass by. He was not the only man in waiting, but wives and children alike flooded the street to watch the man go by. Being short in stature, the rich man climbed up unto a sycamore tree to see the man passing through, for he was about to come his way.
Why the rich man wanted to see a poor peasant can only be attributed to the stories that he had heard about the man passing through from a different city. The stories were spectacular, such as opening the eyes of one man born blind and raising a girl back from the dead. Also, the certain man passing through had among his ranks a tax collector like the rich man; and this was radical because the certain man passing through was a Jew.
The rich man shamed himself by climbing a sycamore tree. He could have exerted his authority I think by having guards to accompany him to this meeting, but no, he would climb a tree. What the rich man did not know was that in climbing a sycamore tree, he would have to climb down again to be the center of attention, or even more so, the center of mercy.
"Zacchaeus," the certain man passing through shouted, "hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today."
"My house!" thought Zacchaeus. "I am a sinner and have done many bad things."
Before having a time to think more about this unexpected request, Zacchaeus feet had falling to the ground, having a beaming smile of surprise about his face, that certainly it was his honor for this man passing through to stay in his house.
The crowd grumbled and protested among themselves, that how could he go and stay in the house of a sinner, the very person that robs everybody in this city by exorbitant taxes.
But little did they know that this encounter, this noticing of the certain man passing through of this sinner, would be the means by which they were never to be extorted again. In fact, the short rich man was so touched that the poor Galilean man passing through would stay in his house and even more, eat with him, that he declared that he would give half of his goods to the poor; and also, that if he has defrauded anyone of anything (which he has), he would restore four times more.
My honourable friends who have Christianity in thier hearts. Would you, like this man go into the house of a criminal, or of a corrupt politician with much mercy and grace in your heart and eat with him? Would you go into the house of those who oppose you and eat with them having a passion to grant them pardon?
Whenever you are passing through anywhere, always keep an eye out for the man sitting on top of the tree.
The certain man passing through was Jesus Christ. He can forgive you of your sins if you will only believe and trust in him.