There are those moments in life that make you say, “Whaaaat?” Usually it’s preceded by, they did, or he did or she did. They did Whaaaat? He did Whaaaat? Now – most of the time it’s not for anything good and neither are the results of whatever it is in question. Yet, God’s Word is filled with the stories of individuals and groups that stepped out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary, even though at the time, people had to be wondering what in the world they were doing. One such story, and one such individual is a guy who’s bio appears in Luke 19! His name was Zacchaeus! He was a tax collector. You know, the group that actually gets their own category in the New Testament – Sinners and tax collectors. They weren’t even able to be lumped in with the rest of an audience in Jesus day. And Zacchaeus had taken advantage of his position. As a tax collector for Rome, you simply had to collect the amount the government asked for, and then everything else was the collectors to keep. And this man had collected enough to be known as a very wealthy individual. He had heard from some of his sources about this Jesus who was in Jericho. And though he had everything money could buy, he still wasn’t satisfied. There was something missing. Maybe this guy he had heard of – if he could just catch a glimpse, get a wave or a hello. That would help a little. Might at least clear his mind, change his attitude. So he left work early to get there, only to realize the crowd was too big and he would never even get close! Part of the problem was that while Zacchaeus wealth gave him a certain amount of stature in the community, he didn’t have enough physical stature to see OVER the community. So, in the middle of the day, with his Versace double breasted suit on, HE CLIMBED A TREE! He did Whaaaaaaat? That’s how bad he wanted to see Jesus. You had to know there were kids grabbing on to his robe, and young people laughing and adults pointing, but that didn’t make a difference.to Zacchaeus. Up he went. And here came Jesus, getting closer, smiling, waving, talking, picking up a child now and again. Then, He is right under the very tree Zacchaeus is in and He stops – and looks up? “Zacchaeus!” Jesus said. Imagine his thoughts – he knows my name? “Come on down. I’m going to your house for dinner.” At some point, many who have known this story for a long time, (and maybe even grew up singing the song, “Zacchaeus was a wee little man…..”) we think that it was an angry, finger pointing Jesus who pointed and yelled for him to get down from that tree! Kind of in the same tone as the old guy who yelled at you for hitting the ball in his yard or cutting across his grass! But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Jesus was not in that moment distant, discouraging, or disappointed. He was simply looking to supply for Zachcaeus what he knew he needed. And that would start with relationship, which would start by sharing a meal together. How awesome to know that as John was writing down what he saw and heard from the Lord in that last book of Revelation, Jesus Himself would say, “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in share a meal with him.” Later in the story, Zacchaeus determines to give back what he has cheated people out of, and share his riches with the poor. This change of behavior started with a belief. A belief that Jesus was who he said He was! And if you think people were surpised by seeing him climb the tree, or seeing Jesus invite himself to dinner, that was nothing compared to hearing what Zacchaeus had done as a result of the encounter! It caused nearly everyone who heard it to say, “He did Whaaaaaat?” Let’s step out of the ordinary and seek the extraordinary by realizing we need to have a fresh encounter with a Jesus who is neither distant from us, or disappointed in us when we come to Him! Blessings!