Why Jericho Tree Church?
You may be wondering why we chose the name Jericho Tree Church. We knew we wanted a name that drew people to the Word of God. In fact, we wanted a name that drew people to a story in the Bible that simply by telling the story, a person could be sharing the gospel. This way, even our name could be a tool to draw people to love and follow Jesus Christ.
The name comes from Luke 19, when Jesus was passing through Jericho on his way to Jerusalem. Crowds were clamoring to see the King of Kings believing that his kingdom would be a physical take over, restoring the holy land to God’s people. Among those desperate to see the Lord, was Zacchaeus, a short man in stature and even smaller in the eyes of his fellow Jews. He was a tax collector, a man despised and rejected for the sins he’d committed against his people, extorting, deceiving, and betraying those he had been born to call brothers.
On this fateful day in the midst of all the commotion, Jesus stopped and looked up into one of Jericho’s trees and saw Zacchaeus who had climbed up to get a better view. Of all those present, it was not the religious leaders or the honest, hardworking carpenters who Jesus visited; it was the most notorious sinner. Jesus called Zacchaeus out of the tree and invited himself into the man’s home. All the “good people” grumbled. They must have thought, “Why wasn’t I chosen? I am a far better man than this vermin! Jesus has gone to be the guest of a man who is a chief of sinners!” However, Zacchaeus received the Lord joyfully and with no mention of time gone by, the text reads that Zacchaeus said to Jesus, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything I restore it fourfold.” Jesus’ response was concise, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Today, the local church serves as the tree that we can “climb” into to see Jesus better. It is our prayer, that you would know your condition before God, and would not be among those who judged God with their grumbling. Instead, be like Zacchaeus, who would desperately pursue Jesus even for the chance of a passing glance. Although we also are worthy to be counted as the chief among sinners, Jesus will respond with mercy, leading to our everlasting joy. So what are you waiting for? Climb your Jericho Tree!