Would you like to have a great job that made you rich but at the cost of having no friends? Zacchaeus probably felt this way as the chief tax collector for the Roman government, as described in Luke 19:1-10. Zacchaeus’s flaw was not having friends but how he became rich. He was taxing the people more than what the gov’t had called for and he kept all the extra taxes. His pursuit of success was at the cost of relationships.
However, Zacchaeus gives us some great lessons in making a comeback by pursuing a view of this man called Jesus. He concocted a plan to climb a sycamore tree on the path in which Jesus was traveling. His view of Jesus gave him a new vision for his own life.
Leadership lessons from Zaccheaus view
Identity the problem, don’t focus on the problem
Problem #1: He was rich, but spiritual bankrupt. Zacchaeus was interested in seeing Jesus because of his unorthodox approach to helping people. Zaccheaus had money but he wanted meaning. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and loses his soul? Internal value should never be determined by our external possessions. When you’re lacking something on the inside you’ll never have enough from the outside to fill that void.
Problem #2: He didn’t allow his physical limitations to stop him. Zacchaeus’ decided to climb a tree and wait for Jesus to pass so that he could get a better view. Don’t ever allow your physical limitations to stop your efforts. The Prophet Samuel reminds us that the Lord does not see as man sees. Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart. You break the physical limitations in your mind when you stretch your imagination and put it into action.
Problem #3: He didn’t allow the crowd to control his consciousness. Friedrich Nietzsche once said, ‘The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.’ Zacchaeus was ready to receive a new life of following what Jesus stood for rather than succumbing to the thoughts and ideas of the crowd. So if you’re following the crowd, evaluate your consciousness.
A new view can create new behaviors
Behavior #1: Compassion activates new behaviors. Zaccheaus was moved by compassion when Jesus said to him, ‘come down, for I must stay at your house today.’ This request confirmed what Zacchaeus had heard about Jesus. When you can experience the truth for yourself, it should always give you new insights for new behaviors. Reflect upon the time someone showed you compassion, or better yet, the last time you showed someone compassion.
Behavior #2: New behaviors confirm a new vision. Now that Zacchaeus experienced the love and compassion of Jesus, he realized that his actions must change. As a result, he gave away half of his possessions and payed the people back four times the amount he had taken. This was proof that his heart had changed. Francis of Assisi said ‘For it is in giving that we receive.’ And Zacchaeus fulfilled his new vision by his actions of giving.
So as we settle into the year 2020, what new view do you need to take today? Do you look at your world through all the negative stories that is reported in the media? Are you noticing all the disappointments in your personal and/or professional life? Are you focusing on all the things you don’t have? By answering ‘YES’ to any of those questions requires that we find something to help us have a better view of how to see that needs of others.