Are you a believer or a follower?

I love this story of Zacchaeus. Maybe it’s because he’s always this cute older man in story books that make me think of my grandfather, but I always want to say “Bless his heart” after hearing his story.

“Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “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.”

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:1-10)

He was this shorter man, and he’s climbing a tree just to get a glimpse of Jesus. We know from the Scripture that he was a wealthy man. Yet, here we see him literally willing to give all that he has in order to follow Jesus.

Today, I would encourage you to think about what is holding you back from giving your all to Jesus. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean dropping your family, job, etc. Jesus can use you in all those places. Are you standing in the crowd, or are you up in the tree? Pray through that, and ask why whatever your answer might be.

Have more time? Want to go deeper?

  • Consider what the difference in what it means to believe in something versus being a follower of it. Look up definitions in the dictionary, and see what the differences are.
  • Are you a believer or a follower? Why do you think that is?
  • What is holding you back if anything? How can your community of believers help keep you accountable in making that change?


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