It is 50 years since Marilyn Monroe died and yet people are
still fascinated by her.
What is it about some people that we are captivated by them? Beauty, charm, mystique, charisma – all these words spring to mind, before we even perhaps start on talent or virtues such as kindness or generosity. Think about the famous people that you admire – what is about them
that you value?
One of the Bible stories that always intrigues me is the
story of Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a tax collector and was also rather short in stature. When Jesus came through his area of Jericho, the crowds gathered around him. Zacchaeus was too short to see Jesus amidst all the people, so he climbed a tree to get a better view. Jesus spotted him up the tree and invited himself to Zacchaeus’ house for the day. The crowd was very disapproving of Jesus’ choice of company. As a tax collector, Zacchaeus would have been viewed as siding with the enemy, the Romans, and had probably made himself quite rich by pocketing some of the taxes that he collected!
What was it about Jesus that made Zacchaeus want to climb the tree that day? What had Zacchaeus heard? Was he hoping to see a miracle happen or see someone be healed? Was he just curious? It must have been quite some motivation to get him to climb high up into a tree.
Perhaps the answer comes in the dialogue between Jesus and Zacchaeus once he is down from the tree. Zacchaeus says Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount. (Luke 19:8)
We might still be talking about Marilyn 50 years on, but we are still following Jesus over 2000 years after his death. Zacchaeus was certainly onto something! Being recognised,
accepted and forgiven are all great gifts.
Who would you climb up a tree to see and why?