We can imagine that Zacchaeus felt small in a number of ways. Yes, we are told that he was short in stature. But I would imagine there were feelings of guilt and shame surrounding the fact that he had cheated his own people for his own enrichment and for that of the Romans. Even if he had been honest in his dealings, his chosen profession would have made him an outcast. It would have been easier to stay home and avoid a situation where he was either actively rejected or passively ignored. Either would have been painful. But something about Jesus made him take the risk. Had he heard that Jesus had the power and presence to change even people like him, to put them on a better path? What we do know is that this encounter effected a major change and a turning back towards goodness.
Are you carrying any guilt or shame that makes you feel small? Are there parts of yourself that you would rather keep hidden from others or from God? Are there steps you need to take in your life to make amends for harm you have done? Imagine Jesus looking you in the eye, calling you by name, and inviting himself into your life – even before you make any promises to change. How might this affect the way you see yourself and the way you want to be in the world?
Offer a prayer of confession for the ways you have missed the mark this week and find assurance that Jesus is not scared away by the worst parts of yourself.