We used to sing the Sunday School song, “Zachaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he, he climbed up into a sycamore tree for the Lord he wanted to see, and the Lord said, “Zachaeus! You come down!”
There are a lot of nice details in the story–all of which bear a deeper meaning. Why did Zachaeus climb up the tree in the first place? Yes, to get a better view to see the Lord, but I think he also wanted a place to see the Lord from a safe distance. He wanted to be an observer, but Christianity is not a spectator sport and Jesus calls him out and tells him to come down.
Zachaeus was little in stature, but he was not yet little in character. In fact, he was trying to be big. He reminds me of a Danny DeVito character–a feisty little man who is trying to compensate for his height by being a big shot. He’s a tax collector. He’s got power and influence. But Jesus tells him to come down.