And he hurried and came down (from the tree) and received Him gladly. Luke 19:5-6
Can you see the smiles on Jesus' and Zaccheus' faces with this exchange? I can. It makes me smile.
This little man named Zaccheus was so determined to see Jesus but the crowd was too tall for him. So he climbed a tree. When was the last time you saw a successful rich man climb a tree just to see a preacher come by? Zaccheus didn't care what people thought. He just wanted to see Jesus.
Here's the rub though: the people didn't like Zaccheus and so they thought Jesus should feel the same way about the little man that they did. The crowd expected Jesus' attention to be on them, not on a sinner they envied.
Here's their reaction to the conversation I quoted above:
And when they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, 'He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.' Luke 19:7
They weren't happy for Zaccheus. They weren't overjoyed just to be in Jesus' presence. They were mad because Jesus, this famous preacher, hadn't acted the way the crowd expected Him too. And this made them mad and grumpy.
This can happen in our lives too. We can get grumpy because things aren't going the way we think they should. Or, God does something we think just isn't right. It doesn't suit us the way we think He should act. Or, we see someone being blessed we think doesn't deserve it. You know, it isn't up to us. And it is none of our business how God works in other people's lives. He knows what He's doing. He's God!
God doesn't support cliques. God isn't an exclusive club. And if we try to make Him one, then we might find ourselves on the outside watching God work and using others instead of us.