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Jesus Fulfills His Purpose

Destination: Golgotha  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Fulfilling His Purpose
Luke 19:1-10
Luke 19:1-11 He entered Jericho and was passing through.2 And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich.3 And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature.4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way.5 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.”6 So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.7 And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”8 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.”9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
11 As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.
Lakeview Baptist Church
March 4, 2018
INTRODUCTION
Once Jesus left His ministry years in Galilee behind Him, He fixed all His attention to Golgotha. His sacrifice on the cross was the fulfilment of why He was born into this world. For almost three years Jesus had shared the message that God had instructed Him to deliver with the Nation Israel. “Repent, for the Kingdom of God/Heaven is at hand.”

Jesus Mission, Never Waivered

Even though Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem, to take part in the Feast of Passover, and be crucified, He remained true to his mission. He did not neglect those, whom He came across who were in need of the Savior.
He entered Jericho and was passing through. -
As Jesus was making His way from Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee, towards Jerusalem, He and His disciples came to the town of Jericho. Jericho is 10 miles northeast of Jerusalem. In the OT we remember the story of the Children of Israel conquering Jericho by walking around the outer walls of the city 13 times. Once a day for 6 days and 7 times on the last day.
Jericho in this period was quite different from the OT city. Herod the Great had obtained Jericho from Caesar Augustus and proceeded to build aqueducts, a fortress, a monumental winter palace, and a hippodrome in the vicinity of the more ancient town. Excavations have revealed much of the Herodian palace structures; they were built in stages, by expanding on a previous Hasmonean palace. One striking feature of the palace site is its huge pools, in one of which Herod probably had his own son drowned. Jericho boasted a tropical climate and excellent access to water for agriculture.[1]
And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. -
It is interesting that Zacchaeus is a name that is derived from the Hebrew word זַכַּי (zakkay), meaning “pure” or “innocent.” We do not know very much about Zacchaeus: which tribe he was from. Where he was from, etc., for only in the book of Luke, is he mentioned.
As the story unfolds, we see that Zacchaeus is a model of repentance and the grace of God.
He was a chief tax collector and was rich. -
The story of Zacchaeus the tax collector only appears in one passage, the Gospel of Luke 19:1–10. Tax collectors were independent contractors, normally drawn from the conquered people. In Palestine and Judea, they would have been Jews. The Roman Empire employed publicans, their task was to collect taxes. A religious tax for the maintenance of the Temple, maintenance of roads and bridges. The tax burden was so heavy as the publicans would receive the tax that Rome required, and then they were free to charge any other taxes they desired, without retribution. The merchants were also required to pay tolls on road use, docking on lakes and seas. Taxes were collected on all produce, manufactured items, fish and any other tax they could collect without rebellion breaking out.
It has been estimated that the total tax burden, during the time of Christ in Palestine was greater than 40%. The tax collectors were hated for their tendency to abuse their power for their own gain.
Tax-collectors (publican literally means a “tax farmer.”), are mentioned sixteen throughout the Gospels. (Matthew 5:46-47; 9:10-11; 11:19; 21:31-32; Mark 2:15-16; Luke 3:12; 5:29-30; 7:29,34; 15:1; 19:2.)
Tax-collectors were so despised by their fellow Jews that they were often associated with “sinners.”
And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. -
If you grew up in a church, then you probably know the children’s song associated with the story of Zacchaeus.
Zaccheus was a wee, little man,
And a wee, little man was he.
He climbed up in a sycamore tree,
For the Lord he wanted to see.
And as the Savior came that way,
He looked up in the tree,
And he said,"Zaccheus, you come down from there,"
For I'm going to your house today.
For I'm going to your house today.
It is a “cutesy” song, aimed at children, however, the story has at its roots, evil, hatred, and redemption.

Not All Rich Men Are the Same

This story is in sharp contrast to the story of the rich, young ruler in the previous chapter (Matthew 18:18-30).
18 And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’”21 And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.”22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”23 But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.24 Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!25 For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”26 Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?”27 But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”28 And Peter said, “See, we have left our homes and followed you.”29 And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,30 who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”
We will see that there are many differences between the two later in our discussion.

In Search of the Savior

4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. 5 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. -
Zacchaeus was the worst of the worst in the eyes of the Jews. He wasn’t just a publican, he was in charge of all the publicans in Jericho. However, from Jesus’ point of view, he was a lost sinner who needed, salvation.
This is the first time in the Bible that we are introduced to Zacchaeus, and only the Gospel of Luke contains this meeting.
Since it is the first time, I find it interesting that Jesus calls out to a short man, who had climbed into a sycamore tree, by his name; Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus is a name derived from the Hebrew word זַכַּי (zakkay), meaning “pure” or “innocent.” [2]
Of all the people in the crowd that day, Jesus chose one man, the worst of the worst in Jewish society, a tax collector. All the crowd heard Jesus conversation with Zacchaeus, “Hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” And the crowd grumbled.
6 So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.7 And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner. 8 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.”
Under the Mosaic Law, a confessing thief, was only responsible for paying back the original amount taken, plus 1/5th. (Leviticus 6:4-5; Numbers 5:6-7)
Leviticus 6:4-5 if he has sinned and has realized his guilt and will restore what he took by robbery or what he got by oppression or the deposit that was committed to him or the lost thing that he found 5 or anything about which he has sworn falsely, he shall restore it in full and shall add a fifth to it, and give it to him to whom it belongs on the day he realizes his guilt.
Zacchaeus’ oath and promise, illustrates the great transformation of the life of a publican. Half of my goods includes his personal possessions, not just his salary. This was a great concession, demonstrating a real change in his heart and soul. This change will be a great testimony to those in the community, not only those that he robbed and those that would hear the news.
9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Salvation for the Jew is the “…sense of
physical rescue in the present life (e.g., deliverance from danger or crisis)
to the idea of spiritual rescue often associated with the afterlife (e.g., forgiveness from sins, eternal life).
This development in the concept of salvation corresponds with changes in beliefs regarding life after death: As views about the afterlife became more optimistic, the understanding of salvation expanded beyond the present world to include hopes for divine deliverance and even resurrection in the world to come.”[3]
Zacchaeus was a “son of Abraham.” He is Jewish.
11 As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.
Conclusion
A man became a child (vv. 2–4).
In the East, it is unusual for a man to run, especially a wealthy government official; yet Zacchaeus ran down the street like a little boy following a parade. And he even climbed a tree! Curiosity is certainly characteristic of most children, and Zacchaeus was motivated by curiosity that day.
John Calvin wrote, “Curiosity and simplicity are a sort of preparation for faith.” This is often the case, and it was certainly true of Zacchaeus. Why the big crowd? Who is this Jesus of Nazareth they are following? What am I missing?
Jesus said, “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God like a little child shall in no way enter therein” (Luke 18:17).
Perhaps more than anything else, it is pride that keeps many “successful” people from trusting Jesus Christ.
A seeking man became found (v. 5).
Zacchaeus thought he was seeking Jesus (Luke 19:3), but Jesus was seeking him! (Luke 19:10). By nature, the lost sinner does not seek the Saviour (Rom. 3:11). When Adam and Eve sinned, they hid from God, but God came and sought them (Gen. 3:1–10). When Jesus was ministering on earth, He sought out the lost; and today the Holy Spirit, through the church, is searching for lost sinners.
We do not know how God had worked in the heart of Zacchaeus to prepare him for this meeting with Jesus.
Was Levi, the former publican (Luke 5:27–39), one of his friends? Had he told Zacchaeus about Jesus? Was he praying for Zacchaeus? Had Zacchaeus become weary of wealth and started yearning for something better?
We cannot answer these questions, but we can rejoice that a seeking Saviour will always find a sinner who is looking for a new beginning.
A small man became big (vv. 7–8).
It was not Zacchaeus’ fault that he was “little of stature” and could not see over the crowd. He did what he could to overcome his handicap by putting aside his dignity and climbing a tree.
In a spiritual sense, all of us are “little of stature,” for “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). No one measures up to God’s high standards; we are all “too little” to enter into heaven.
The tragedy is, many lost sinners think they are “big.” They measure themselves by man’s standards—money, position, authority, popularity—things that are an “abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15). They think they have everything when really they have nothing (Rev. 3:17).
Zacchaeus trusted Jesus Christ and became a true “son of Abraham,” meaning, of course, a child of faith (Rom. 4:12; Gal. 3:7). That is as big as you can get!
A poor man became rich (vv. 9–10
The people thought Zacchaeus was a wealthy man, but actually he was only a bankrupt sinner who needed to receive God’s gift of eternal life, the most expensive gift in the world. This is the only instance in the four Gospels of Jesus inviting Himself to someone’s home, and it illustrates the words of Revelation 3:20.
Zacchaeus was not saved because he promised to do good works. He was saved because he responded by faith to Christ’s gracious word to him. Having trusted the Saviour, he then gave evidence of his faith by promising to make restitution to those he had wronged. Saving faith is more than pious words and devout feelings. It creates a living union with Christ that results in a changed life (James 2:14–26).[4]
"My Victory" – David Crowder
You came for criminals and every Pharisee You came for hypocrites, even one like me You carried sin and shame the guilt of every man The weight of all I've done nailed into Your hands Oh, Your love bled for me Oh, Your blood in crimson streams Oh, Your death is hell's defeat A cross meant to kill is my victory Oh, Your amazing grace, I've seen and tasted it It's running through my veins I can't escape its grip in You my soul is safe You uncover everything Oh, Your love bled for me Oh, Your blood in crimson streams Oh, Your death is hell's defeat A cross meant to kill is my victory Behold the Lamb of God Who takes away our sin, who takes away our sin The holy Lamb of God Makes us alive again Makes us alive again Behold the Lamb of God Who takes away our sin, who takes away our sin The holy Lamb of God Makes us alive again Makes us alive again Oh, Your love bled for me Oh, Your blood in crimson streams Oh, Your death is hell's defeat A cross meant to kill is my victory
[1] Crossway Bibles, The ESV Study Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008), 1997.
[2] Michelle J. Morris, “Zacchaeus,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).
[3] Michael D. Morrison, “Salvation,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).
[4] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 251–252.
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