Zaccheus

Luke 19 1 He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. 3 Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. 4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a [a]sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. 5 When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 And he hurried and came down and received Him [b]gladly. 7 When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone [c]to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8 Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I [d]will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I [e]will give back four times as much.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

1 Zaccheus wanted to see Jesus

 Matthew 5:8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.

Zaccheus’ name literally means “pure”!

His motive was pure.  He didn’t care about any selfish need. All he wanted to do was see Jesus with his eyes!

His faith was pure.

Matt 17:20 …”I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.
Zaccheus wanted Just a glimpse of Jesus – The woman with the issue of blood wanted just to touch of the hem of His garment – Jarius asked that he would just send a word… Faith a grain of mustard can move MOUNTAINS!

How bad do we want to experience Him?

Zaccheus, because he was a SHORT man ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree ahead of a crowd that hated his guts!

The most hated profession of Jesus’ time was the tax collector.  Tax collectors stole and cheated to obtain their own wealth.

The stereotype was that Zaccheus was the same. They would only see him the same.  Whether he became rich because of his profession is never confirmed in the story. All we know is he was guilty by association!

Are you willing to remove any obstacle that is in your way?

  • Every critic
  • Every excuse
  • Every lie that tells you that you aren’t good enough

2 Jesus wanted to see Zaccheus!

James 4:8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

Jesus saw His desire, called him down and invited Himself to dinner!

When the religious world condemned him and labeled him, Jesus spent time with him.

Jesus wasn’t just passing by, He was coming FOR ZACCHEUS!

He isn’t just passing by… He’s paying YOU a visit!

Jesus is the friend that sticks closer than any brother.

He wants to be your friend

When Jesus proved to this tax collector that He was going to invest His time, He built a relationship

3 Jesus is now seen THROUGH Zaccheus!

Church history tells us that Zaccheus preached the gospel and traveled with Peter the Apostle.  He died a martyrs death for preaching the good news.

JESUS saw him differently

Isn’t it time to see others through Jesus eyes instead of identifying someone as a sterotype through our own experiences with those who have something in common with them?

Other races, socio-economic groups, professions.

Closing 

Zaccheus did more than just see Jesus. He received the gift of life!  Because of the love Christ extended to Zaccheus, he pledged to do whatever it would take to make sure that his identity wasn’t in greed, but it was in the call and purpose of Christ.

Jesus wants to see you, and be seen through you!

Who will you extend grace to? Who do you know that is “bad news” but needs to see God’s grace at work?

Jesus risked His reputation to love Zaccheus.

 

While I was preaching this message, an older man who was shorter than I am pulled in the parking lot in front of The Refuge and totally distracted me.  He pressed his face against the glass to get a good look in. I lost my entire train of thought as I wondered why he was there.  He came in, and had a seat and we welcomed him.  As I was closing, he asked if he could share a prayer request and a “testimony”.  He shared how a friend of his has been diagnosed with cancer, and it didn’t look good for him.  Immediately, my mind put him into a stereotype.  Thankfully I wasn’t the only one though.  As he shared his friend’s story, he went on to say that God has provided for him financially, he was just asking Christian people to call on the Lord for him!  
What an illustration!  
Please pray for Mr French and his family.  Believe God for big things to happen, that cancer is defeated in his life, and that he puts his trust in the Lord for the rest of his life!
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