“I don’t want to miss a thing!”

“I don’t want to miss a thing!”

Christian singer/songwriter Ellie Holcomb sings, “I don’t want to miss it. I don’t want to miss a thing. So I climbed up a sycamore tree cause I don’t want to miss a thing”. Of course this is a reference to that ‘wee little man’ named Zacchaeus who we read about in Luke 19:1-10.

In the account of Zacchaeus we see a serious case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out); please check back to recent Pastor’s post where Pastor Craig gives helpful treatment on the subject and on how to handle FOMO. Well, you could say Zacchaeus had a truckload of FOMO, for he was used to missing out on what everyone else was enjoying, but on that particular day he looked at the crowd that had gathered, and said, “not today, Jericho!”. I know it wasn’t quite Jericho, but it was the road to Jericho and there was quite the stir of ’someone’ special passing through those parts. So much so that an insatiable interest was bubbling up within him and he just had to act on it; this was all flying in the face of the feelings of social awkwardness and hostility that he had towards those in the crowd. They of course would say that the feeling was mutual, for it was well known that this chief taxman was despised for being in ‘cahoots’ with the government with his ability for skimming and scamming. But on this day Zacchaeus wasn’t going to let these issues get in the way of his curiosity about this mysterious ministry man called Jesus.  Zac says, “no, not missing out today, Jericho! Not today!”.

So, as he tried to get a glimpse of Jesus, internally he was probably saying, “I don’t want to miss it, I don’t want to miss a thing”. Financially missing out wasn’t something Zac liked or did in life – I mean, that’s what drove his quest for getting money at great costs. More than simply a small man in stature, he was small in decency and sought to treasure wealth rather than treasuring people. So of course, underneath the greed, privilege and power, he was a broken man probably scared to lose it all.  But who is he kidding, for he was already spiritually and relationally bankrupt from having been ripping and robbing society for selfish gain.

So fearful to miss out, but so gripped by self-delusion and sin, he actually was ‘missing out’ on what really mattered. Now finding himself on the sideline of some spontaneous parade he hustles to get a look, but as a short man he just couldn’t see clearly, and this time, instead of stepping on people to get to the top, he would need to climb a tree to the top to see Jesus.

I imagine that, as he stepped on each branch, he was more and more desperate for something else, something other than the hate and loneliness his life was marked by. Each step was now for hope: he just needed to see what true life looked like, what it felt like; he needed to see and know Jesus more than he needed his next breath.

At the top of the tree he now gets a glimpse. Who is it? And as he looks out and sees Jesus, their eyes meet. Jesus spots him and stops the traffic. Jesus sees everything in his eyes! The crowd sees nothing in Zac, but Jesus sees everything. Now to Zacchaeus’ surprise, Jesus calls him out, Jesus calls him by name.

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.’” Luke 19:5

Jesus is God and He knows what is in the heart of man (John 2:24-25). No need to hide from Jesus; He knows everything about you, He knows your life, your name and even where you live. Well, today Jesus wants to go to Zacchaeus’ house.

Jesus calls him down, but then He calls him up! He calls him up to a better life. Can you imagine the joy? This man hurries down at the prospect of meeting and knowing Jesus.

Read the response:

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. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’” Luke 19:6–10

Rejoicing and repentance is evident in Zacchaeus, all because of Jesus’ great love and mercy to this great sinner.

Jesus came for Zac. Jesus came to know and eat with sinners and tax collectors. You and I, in our rebellion against God, are no different. Jesus also sees you and knows you, He knows your name. Is He calling you to come down from your perch? But is He also calling you up to a better life for His glory? You may think you’re seeking Him (like Zac did), but He is really the One doing all the seeking, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost”. (Luke 19:10)

Zacchaeus was missing out in his old life, but in Jesus He truly became a rich man! He didn’t miss out on anything that he gave back to the people, for he really gained everything that truly matters (Jesus and people).

It’s extremely interesting that if we fast forward in history we find that Clement of Alexandria (Church Father) says on the historical record that Zacchaeus became a very prominent Christian Leader and a pastor of the church in Caesarea. Wow! The wee little man did big things for Jesus! What more can we say about the man? He truly didn’t want to miss out, he didn’t want to miss the One thing that matters for eternity. How about you? Got any FOMO?

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