“And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way” (Luke 19:2-4).
In Luke 19:1-10, the tree was where Zaccheus got his first look at Jesus. The tree was the intersection between this little man with big problems and a big God with a big heart. The tree was the meeting place of a man’s great need and Jesus’ great grace. The tree is where Jesus invited Zaccheus into relationship with Him.
Be the tree! Be the intersection between people’s hurt and God’s hope. Live the kind of life that helps people see who Jesus is and what He can do. Live the kind of life that’s different from the world around you so that when people are searching for meaning, purpose, and identity—for a different way to live—they’ll see something different in the way you live. You don’t have to have it all together. You don’t have to be perfect. In fact, when your life isn’t perfect and isn’t going as planned, God’s grace can shine all the more through your life. When your family, friends, neighbors or co-workers see you going through a difficult season with grace and perseverance, they’ll want to know how on earth you’re doing it. In those moments, be the tree. Help them see who Jesus is and what He can do.
Most importantly, be the tree that points to another tree. Our lives, our story, and our hope point to another tree—the cross—where Jesus ultimately gave His life for us.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24, ESV, emphasis added)
Because of the tree Jesus hung on, we’re healed, changed, and transformed. In His grace and limitless love, He’s not only forgiven us our sin and rebellion, but He’s also provided us with the power to live differently…the power to live changed lives. The people in your world are searching for that, even if they don’t know it yet. Be the tree that points them to another tree, the beautiful tree…the cross of Jesus Christ.
How can you be “the tree” in your world?