Rumi, the Sufi poet put it slightly differently, “What you seek is seeking you.”
And, Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom.”
So, what is the Kingdom? It is not the Church. Not heaven either.
Are you disappointed?
Don’t be. What the Kingdom actually is…is better than both.
One day, when I was just a child, I learn a Sunday School song. I’d bet many of you reading this could sing it with me, couldn’t you?
“Zacchaeus was a wee little man
And a wee little man was he.
He climbed up in a Sycamore Tree
For Jesus he wanted to see!”
Neither the first person nor the last to wish to see Jesus. But the crowd was in the way. Neither the first crowd nor the last Church in history to make it difficult for people to see Jesus.
Was seeing Jesus difficult because Zacchaeus was “a wee little man?” The song says so. I cannot read this story but what I would wish to cast Danny Devito as Zacchaeus, if I were doing a modern rendition of this story. Perfect, wouldn’t you say?
Interestingly, however, the text itself does not make clear whether the short person was Zacchaeus or Jesus himself. In fact, the text oddly positions the Greek pronoun “he” so that “he was short in stature” may actually refer to Jesus and not Zacchaeus at all.
Here’s what the text actually says…
“Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature” (Luke 19:1ff).
Who was “short in stature?” Was it Zacchaeus? Or, Jesus?
See what I mean? It isn’t so clear.
What is clear, however, is this: what Zacchaeus was seeking, Jesus was seeking, too.
And, what is that? Or, more accurately, who is that?
They were seeking each other. You cannot find God inside a building. Or, a book of religion.