Sermon Follow Up - Week 25, 2021
What is it in the story of Zacchaeus that is so important that it makes the cut among all the other things Jesus was doing? And why is his story important to us this morning some 2000 years later?
The familiar story of the wee little man named Zacchaeus picks up as Jesus enters and begins to walk through the heart of the City of Jericho, just a bit over a week before he would hang on that hill called Calvary, and he finds what seems to be a most unexpexted believer.
But the one thing that Luke wants us to see is that while with man, eternal life is absolutely and undeniably impossible, with God, all things are possible, even getting a camel through the eye of a needle.
The Sermon Text
“He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “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.”” (Luke 19:1–10 ESV)
Sermon Points, Quotes, and Application
Zacchaeus Strives to See JesusWhat accounts for Zacchaeus’s seeking of Jesus? The man named Zacchaeus, wasn't first seeking Jesus somehow because he had turned some sort of existential, rationalistic, spiritual corner, rather what we’ll see is that Jesus was in fact seeking him. And this is true of all who have been or who ever will be saved. The reality is that God had been the one working in Zaccheaus's heart already, in some manner, to give him - among all the people in the crowd – he gives Zacchaeus an earnest desire, we might even say an irresistible desire to see Jesus. He must see Jesus.
What was it that first made you "seek" Jesus?
Are there others around you whom you know who are "seeking" to see Jesus? How might you interact with them?
- Jesus Finds Those Who are Lost
Zachaeus had to get to Jesus but you don't hear him yelling out loud like you do the blind man. He’s not crying out, “Have mercy on me Son of David!” Rather what we are told in this story is that Jesus looks up into the tree, for some reason, and Jesus calls Zacchaeus by name. Now consider that for a moment. How does Jesus know who this man is? He could have just pointed at him and said “hey you, get out of the tree.” Rather, Jesus called him by name. He knows him. He already knows his story. He already knows all about him. He knows his joys. He knows his fears. He knows his sorrows. He knows his doubts. He knows the depth of sin in his heart. He knows him.
Jesus found Zacchaeus. What to everyone’s surprise and shock, amid all the hindrances that seemed like roadblocks to Zacchaeus’s heart, Jesus found the lost man. Zacchaeus, the wee little man, was a sinner – a really bad one – and really just like you and me…. He was spiritually blind and lost, but Jesus looked upon him with redeeming love and purposeful pursuit.
What is it that Jesus has been saying throughout our time in Luke?
“And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”” (Luke 5:31–32 ESV)
““What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” (Luke 15:4–5 ESV)
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”” (Luke 19:10 ESV)
The whole purpose of the Son of God, becoming flesh, being the Son of Man, coming to earth and living was to find and save people just like Zacchaeus, people like you and me.The result of Jesus’ purposeful pursuit of Zacchaeus? Salvation. Something comes alive inside of Zacchaeus. He scrambles down the tree and receives him into his house with joy.
How does the thought of Jesus "knowing your name" affect the way you view him? Do you feel hindered in feeling the awe and intimacy of that? Or does it cause you to be in wonder? How might this truth inform your affections for Christ?
What was your condition before you knew Jesus? How does "Jesus seeking you first, loving you first" while you were still lost land on you? Again, hindered to be in wonder of that truth or worshipful? How might this truth inform your affections for Christ?
Jesus Changes Those Whom He Finds
What we see in this story is the evidence of a new affection in Zacchaeus’ heart. This man who had at one time become rich through some evil, self-saturated, dishonest ways, now breaks out into a life that all of a sudden wants to follow Christ and even give away the stuff that used to hold his heart.
This kind of change is impossible with man. But with God…oh yeah…absolutely possible! Conversion is a miracle. Unexplainable ultimately. Only the action of God in a person’s life. And when God acts in a person’s life to convert them, it is very observable.CONSIDER
Consider your affections...where do they lie? How will you assess your affections toward Jesus? Have you had your heart changed toward Jesus? Have you found him to be your treasure?
How will you respond to God's word this week?
RESOURCES FOR THIS WEEK
Zacchaeus Was a Wee Little Man
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