February 24, 2020

We're All Wee Little People in a Tree

Luke 19:1–27

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Jesus and Zacchaeus

He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

The Parable of the Ten Minas

11 As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. 12 He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. 13 Calling ten of his servants,1 he gave them ten minas,2 and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ 14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ 15 When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. 16 The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant!3 Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ 18 And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’ 19 And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 20 Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; 21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ 24 And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ 25 And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ 26 ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 27 But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’”


[1] 19:13 Or bondservants; also verse 15
[2] 19:13 A mina was about three months' wages for a laborer
[3] 19:17 Or bondservant; also verse 22

We're All Wee Little People in a Tree

Key Verse | Luke 19:10

"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."


Bio | Megan Katani

Happy National Tortilla Chip Day! Didn't know that was a thing? You're welcome.

They say short sentences make for better reading, so here you go:

Daniel Katani is my significantly cooler other-half.

I'm the Premarital Assistant here at Watermark.

The Jesus Storybook Bible is my second favorite book.

It takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert, so it's safe to say I'm an expert in ice cream.

Central Truth

Jesus didn't come to help those who help themselves, but to save those who admit they could never save themselves.

Devotional | Luke 19:1–27

The title architelōnēs, or chief of all tax collectors, doesn't hold the same weight today that it once did with its original audience. Whenever the Romans took over a city, they would hire a native who...

The title architelōnēs, or chief of all tax collectors, doesn't hold the same weight today that it once did with its original audience. Whenever the Romans took over a city, they would hire a native who knew the city well to collect their taxes for them. Tax collectors would demand large amounts of money from their neighbors, friends, and family in order to give Rome their share and then keep all the excess for themselves. Socially, Zacchaeus was seen more as an animal than a human, which is why the crowd wouldn't let him through to see Jesus. So, up the tree he went.

Zacchaeus probably never dreamed of becoming a tax collector when he grew up. I never dreamed I would become enslaved to an eating disorder and that I would trade time with friends and caring for others for my own selfish pursuit of seeking life in the broken cistern (Jeremiah 2:13) of controlling my body image. Eventually, God opened my eyes to see that sin had taken me farther than I intended and that it stole more than it promised to give. But just as Jesus beckoned Zacchaeus to hurry down from the tree and enjoy fellowship with Him, He also sought me by His grace and changed my heart by His love.

Zacchaeus deserved to be lonely and rejected, but Jesus wanted to be his friend and share a meal. Zacchaeus climbed a tree because he was despised. But just a few chapters later, Jesus would die hanging on a tree, cursed and despised for us all (Galatians 3:13). Jesus traded places with Zacchaeus.

We should all see our own story in Zacchaeus' story. We deserve to be rejected by God for our sin, but God sought our hearts while we were still far off and invites us into fellowship with Him (Ephesians 2:13).

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Discussion Questions

1. Jesus didn't tell Zacchaeus, "Go and clean yourself up, and then you can find salvation." He told him, "Salvation has come to this house." (Luke 19:9) Are there ways you are trying to be good enough to earn salvation instead of receiving it as a gift?

2. When Zacchaeus tasted the grace of Jesus, it changed his heart from a man of greed to a man of generosity. Money lost its hold on him. What sins in your life need to lose their hold on you? 

3. Have you considered attending re:generation or RE:GENERATION for Students to find healing and freedom from these sins?

4. Do you think Zacchaeus was afraid of heights?

15 Comments available

Linda Green about 1 month ago

Thank you, Megan, for being transparent, and encouraging us today through Zacchaeus’ example. Love that Zacc’s desire to make amends was out of love for the Savior rescuing him, not because Jesus said he had to. Some sin only Jesus can make amends for at the cross. And I want to find joy in both: making amends, and receiving His complete and total forgiveness.

Michael Scaman about 1 month ago

Sycamore trees have big leaves. Could be that Zacchaeus could see Jesus but thought Jesus could not see him. Inviting yourself over to people’s houses is generally frowned upon. Imagine Z’s surprise when Jesus called Z by name (hey you hiding in the tree up there! I know who you are!) and publicly invited himself to Z’s house ( low grumble in background).

He’s way up there in that tree somewhere https://13vjni1oolmjc1b5i9tohr18-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/36993193_10209550521199420_9159581739465572352_o.jpg

Salvation entered his house. Jesus entered his house. A play on words by Jesus?

Z had the fruit of salvation and Jesus seemed to expect fruit when salvation knocks and walks in. Even changing a money grubbing man to a generous ethical person.

He also ran! Run, Zaccheus, run!! The prodigal’s father ran! Zaccheus ran! Peter and John ran to the tomb! Some things are so urgent you gotta run!

greg jones about 1 month ago

Chips and ice cream? I’ll have some

“Bring my enemies before me and destroy them.” I know a atheist, that’s one of his favorite verses. He usually brings it up after mentioning the “zombies” in Matthew. Everything has to be literal with that guy.

Luke18 ends-Outside Jericho sat a blind beggar. “Have mercy on me!” Jesus asked, “what do you want?” “Sight,” the beggar said. The people praised God

Luke19 begins-Inside Jericho a short, wealthy, tax collector wanted to see Jesus. Apparently he didn’t want to ask him anything. Not even to come into his house. Jesus said, “I’m coming to your house.” When they, saw it, they didn’t praise God as before, they grumbled.

Luke19 ends with a master that grumbles a little at the end of a parable.

Q4 Yes. Zacchaeus was a acrophobic man and acrophobic man was he… loved that question.

Trey Collins about 1 month ago

Gmorn Megan, great devo! 2 Observations from this passage on money:

Zacchaeus was a giver of money, and Jesus gave him salvation. Thoughts from everyone on that idea?

The nobleman took from the poor and gave to the rich due to the faithfulness of the rich man. Is Jesus the nobleman here? Are we being faithful?

Praying for us this morning Megan to be faithful stewards of God’s money!

Michael Scaman about 1 month ago

It wasn’t just the religious leaders grumbling over the party at the little big man boss tax collector’s party, “all grumbled”.

Zacheus wasn’t “afraid of hides (I changed from heights)” as some say Sycamore (related to fig trees) are great places to hide (from both Jesus and the crowds). They are huge and some take the other view and feel he hoped Jesus saw him way up there - I go with thinking in a shame based culture the dreaded tax boss preferred to be inconspicuous.

A Sycamore tree maybe big branches easy to climb? like so https://13vjni1oolmjc1b5i9tohr18-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/37038470_10209550560240396_6383972284205367296_o.jpg

The lepers cried out to Jesus while Zaccheus tried to just silently observe. Jesus helped both.

michael mcgowen about 1 month ago

Looks like Zacchaeus wasn’t as bad as we thought, maybe he is a strict businessman but apparently was an honest one paying people back up to 4 times if he cheated them, it looks like your the stick boss lord demanding that we invest this small life and expecting a return, I always thought you were like Santa where we could ask you for all the toys we want, I guess I better grow up and unbury this Mina, I’m going out there and make it ten, thank you for the good advice lord we love you

Lauren Horner about 1 month ago
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@Hugh…that made my heart happy!

John Hall about 1 month ago

I will never look at the story of Zacchaeus the same again. Love the “Jesus traded places with Zacchaeus” comment. Thanks.

Glenda Fuentes-Cortez about 1 month ago

Megan, I loved your Devo because it made me giggle but, most importantly, the reminder that I can’t save myself. Thank you for sharing your struggle and for Jeremiah 2:13.

Grateful for your sweetness and kindness at the front desk; you are missed.

Lindsey Driscoll about 1 month ago

Megan, thank you for sharing where God has given you freedom from your struggles because of Christ; just like Zacchaeus. I see the full gospel in the story of Zacchaeus. Verse 6 says Z responded to Jesus at once and gladly. Then we see him humbly offer the full repayment 4x for taking the citizens money. Yet, his retribution could not erase his sin or restore him to right standing with Jesus. Salvation came to Z through Christ, the son of man who came to seek and save the lost.

Sue Bohlin about 1 month ago

Thanks so much, Megan!

It’s interesting that Luke provides us with the huge contrast between the response of the rich young ruler and that of Zaccheus, both known for their wealth. The first one went away sad–and still lost–because money was his god. Zaccheus responded with joy and the beauty of repentance, because he had found something better than the god of money–the Messiah. There is such joyful freedom in Zaccheus’s spirit that we don’t see in the rich young ruler.

And I just love that Jesus knew Zaccheus’s name and called him by it. What a picture of how He reaches out to each one of us chosen for salvation before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). He initiates with us and calls us by name.

All of us wee little men.

Hope Harris about 1 month ago

Happy Monday JTJ peeps,

I am focused on the interactions of the crowd, Jesus and Zacchaeus this morning

The crowd pushed Zacchaeus away from seeing Jesus because of his profession and reputation.

Jesus saw how determined Zacchaeus was to see Him and called him by name. Guzik states this"Saying his name made all the difference; Jesus told Zacchaeus, “I know you, and I lay some claim upon you.”

In addition Jesus was invited Himself to dinner with a social outcast. Each time I read of Jesus sitting and spending time with sinners and social outcasts like me (former Lesbian and God hater) I am touched and drawn to Jesus.

Today I am grateful that Jesus called me by name while I was off in a dark and distant land and invited me to a place at His table.

Julie Newmeyer about 1 month ago

Great devotional, Megan and I can relate to your past of an eating disorder. But I love how God is always pursing us, despite our background & current sin struggles!! That He is the one who ultimately changes our hearts & minds.

Btw, today is the first day of NEDA awareness week!

Hugh Stephenson about 1 month ago

Hi Lauren.

Hugh Stephenson about 1 month ago

I can’t be saved if I don’t know I’m lost.

Zacchaeus, (Righteous One) KNEW he was lost. He didn’t have FOMO. He was desperate to know his Savior. He went from “wretched rebel to righteous rescued”.

Am I desperate enough to be “seeking to see who Jesus [is]”? (verse 3), and to humiliate myself in the eyes of some in order to do so?

What is my pain threshold in making amends? In three times through re:gen I have three amends uncompleted. All from high school; one workplace theft and two car vandalizations. With my mentor’s counsel, I have done all I can do to find the people. What’s left is prayer.

With interest, the check I will write is six figures for each amends. Is that too big for me to joyously write it? Am I just box-checking? How much do I want to be free?

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