WHERE JESUS SLEPT WHEN HE WAS AWAY FROM HOME
When He was away from His seaside villa in Galilee, He slept where he could — on boats, in the mountains, and in the desert. But those were the exceptions. As a rule, he slept in the best homes.
For example, He was the guest of Lazarus, Simon the Leper, and also a guest of Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector.
The story of Zacchaeus is a popular Sunday school story. But, tradition focuses on the sycamore tree than his house. Let’s be objective:
And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named
Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see
Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran
before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And
when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus,
make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and
came down, and received him joyfully. (Luke 19:1-6)
Jesus gave Zacchaeus three imperial commands(1) make haste; (2) come down; (3) I must abide in your house!
Was that a carpenter talking, or the King?
Think about this, Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector. That’s an important position. Would a man of importance be more likely to climb a tree to see a carpenter or a king? Would a rich man more likely climb a tree to see a poor man or a man richer than he?
Zacchaeus was both rich and powerful, but he was of lower social stature than Jesus. Think about it.
Furthermore, we must realize, Zacchaeus didn’t perceive Jesus the same as you and I do today. We see Jesus as our savior, the resurrected Son of God. Zacchaeus didn’t see Him as the Son of God or the carpenter of Nazareth. He saw Prince Yeshua, the heir to the throne of David. Zacchaeus climbed a tree to get a look at his future King.
Why wouldn’t Zacchaeus see Him as the King? Everyone else did. Of course he saw Him as the King. In the same chapter, as Jesus makes His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the multitudes shouted, “Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord…” (Luke
Along the way, in places like Jericho, huge crowds packed the streets to hail their long-awaited King. Imagine their surprise, when the King walked straight to Zacchaeus and declared, “…come down; for today I must abide at thy house.”
That lit a fire under Zacchaeus, “And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.” (Vs.6)
What an honor that was. Zacchaeus must have thought, Halleluiah, the King is coming to my house! I’ll bet He was on the a-list after that.
Let me point out the social order again. The crowds didn’t criticize Zacchaeus for having a lowly carpenter come into his home. On the contrary, they criticized Jesus for condescending to stay with a chief tax collector:
“And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he [Jesus] was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner [Zacchaeus].” (Vs.7)
Outrageous! King Jehoshua, the heir to the throne of David, is staying in the home of a mere leader of the Publicans! Would it have been outrageous if a poor carpenter had stayed in the home of a Publican? Hardly!
Nonetheless, I’m certain that Zacchaeus would have lived in a home befitting a man of his station. Surely, he lived in a grand home, as did Levi, another Chief Tax Collector.
Here’s a question for you: Where do you think Jesus preferred sleeping when He was away from home – on the ground or in a grand home?
This blog is one of a series of excerpts of my manuscript called Codex Rex — The Book of the King. Your comments and questions will help me improve the manuscript before publication.