So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see Him, since Jesus was coming that way. Luke 19:4
Climbing fits well as a physical exercise. Children’s monkey bars and swing sets provide opportunities for using many different muscles and developing coordination. Public parks provide ingenious equipment designed to encourage safe climbing. High school gymnasiums often feature a climbing rope. Military basic training usually features obstacle courses requiring superb conditioning and climbing skills.
Spiritual aerobics also include climbing imagery to describe the disciplines of the Christian life. Think of all the mountains in the Bible, and Moses, Abraham, Elijah, and Jesus Himself climbing mountains in obedience to God.
Luke, though, describes a memorable climbing incident. Zacchaeus the tax collector, an outcast and a sinner, wants to see Jesus. No doubt he feels a need for rescue from his predicament. Since he is a short man, he runs ahead and then climbs a sycamore tree for a better glimpse of the Man from Galilee. Jesus then seeks him out and brings salvation to his house. Repentant, Zacchaeus believes in Jesus as his Savior.
What a marvelous example! Are we willing to climb for a glimpse of Jesus? Do we sense our own helplessness and need for His grace? He freely offers us the salvation won for us as He climbed Mount Calvary and was lifted on the cross. Through regular Word-and-sacrament communion with Him, He supplies the strength for us to climb every mountain in our lives and scale every wall as we serve Him and witness to others regarding our Savior.
PRAYER: O Lord, in our helplessness, we look to You for help and strength to climb all the mountains in our life. Amen.
(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)
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