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The Tree Interuption

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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.”

Interruptions!

It seems at time that life just interrupts, you are on your way somewhere or on your way to do something; and seemingly from nowhere an interruption comes. Most of the time, it is for a waste of time. But every now and then, your life is changed for the better. Isn’t that how every good love story begins.
Once there was this handsome, young man, about 16 years old. He had started at a new school, his life had been interrupted from its previous course. At this new school he met a young lady during their lunch period. She instantly fell hopelessly in love with him. She was consumed by his exotic latino flare and absurdly good looks. But they were soon separated (another interruption). After many months, while this young man was being a faithful wingman to his friend, he was stood up by his date. But yet again the young lady found her prince, and filled with passion she seized the moment and expressed her undying love for this young man. Love interrupted the life of this young man. In time, the course of his life changed. The young woman filled his life with joy, love, compassion. She completed him. Now there’s another little prince and princess running around the house (life interrupted again by love). Now the young man lives determined to ward off all the boyfriends!!!
Love seems to interrupt the life of the most unsuspecting people. Folks who never thought love would reach out to them. Then seemingly from nowhere, their life course is transformed.
I know I just told you a compelling love story. But there is a love story that has been interrupting the life of man from the beginning of time.

The First Interruption: Seeking Interruption

9 But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”

Ask yourself, Why would the omniscient God ask “Where are you?”? That’s because this love story is two fold, there is a call and a response.
God CALLS OUT to Adam. “MAN WHERE ARE YOU?”
Adam had done wrong! His life was now on a different trajectory from the one purposed for him. Adam found himself separated; separated from himself, from creation, from Eve, FROM GOD
But God Interrupts. HE Calls out to separated and scared Adam. He Calls out to the shame filled MAN.
WHERE ARE YOU?
Adam/ man responds.. I WAS AFRAID! Afraid because I heard your steps, I heard you walking into my life, I heard you coming for relationship from a distance but my shame was too great. I was too afraid. In despair I made these garments from these leaves on that tree, but they could not cover the shame. So I hid, I ran, covered in guilt, I attempted to hide from you.
Adams response is His confession! Covered in guilt, and shame, with a sprinkle of anger. But a confession nonetheless.
GOD ANSWERS
While God does deliver punishment for the transgression, he also delivers the promise of victory.
In God’s rebuke, love was shown, mercy was given, redemption was made, and a promise was made.
Not only does God redeem Adam there, by clothing them them; but He promises his son, a man to be born of a woman, one who would bruise the head of the serpent!

Continued Interruption

Moses: The Fire interruption!

Moses, plucked from the waters into the Pharaohs house. Now finds himself in dessert caring for the sheep of his father in law.
There in the shame of his past. While in hiding from the mistakes of His past, on a mountain, working for someone else.. There God calls out to Moses and interrupts his daily scheduled life.

2 And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” 4 When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”

Call: Moses, Moses! Response: Here I Am
The murderer, the adopted rescued son, the Shepard… this man God called out to from an unconsumed burning bush.
This man God turned from coward to anointed leader and deliverer. This is the man that God backed with a pillar of fire a pillar of cloud. It was this man whom God instructed to speak to a rock so that water would come from it, TWICE!
This man, God interrupts his life, to anoint him to lead with great wonders

The Samaritan Woman: The Water Interuption

A woman, from a rejected class. A reject of society, from an unclean line. Even worse, 5 husbands and the current one wasn’t even hers.
Jesus interrupts into the life of THIS woman, to make of her a spring of living water.

7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

It was necessary for Jesus to come to this well. To Jacob’s Well. There he would wipe away the shame of a rejected woman and make her a spring of living water.
This woman heads to the call, give me a drink. But her response is one of a battered self. “ Who me? Don’t you know your kind isn’t supposed to mix with mine?”
At the well, Jesus breaks the system. He breaks the bondage of a societal class system to call upon a woman who could be considered the most unclean of these. Here in a woman who was but worthy of being stoned, Here He interrupts the direction of her life to make of her an Evangelist.

So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him.

 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him.

The Tree Interruptions

Zaccheus: The unmerited interruption

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
The sycamore:
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.”
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.”

Sycamors (συκομορέαν). From συκῆ, fig-tree, and μόρον, the mulberry. The fig-mulberry, resembling the fig in its fruit, and the mulberry in its leaves. Some old writers derived it from μωρὸς, foolish, because it produced worthless figs. Dr. Thomson says that it bears several crops yearly, which grow on short stems along the trunk and the large branches. They are very insipid, and none but the poorer classes eat them.

So the sycamore is a mighty tree, famous for its timber, but quite foreign to the Israelites. It is fitting that a tax collector – someone who was considered an social outsider by Jews because he collaborated with the Roman authorities – should be sitting upon a tree that is a botanical outsider.— https://blog.israelbiblicalstudies.com/holy-land-studies/sycamore/
A tax Collector. Who loves a tax collector? Can anyone love a tax collector? In this era, these men where hated. They stood as symbols of the regimes that ruled over the Jewish provinces. They collected taxes for the foreign crown. Often, they stole and cheated people out of extra taxes to line their own pockets. This, this was a man universally hated by everyone.
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.”
This detested man Jesus chooses, to his house Jesus invites himself
The Nature of the Visit:
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

I must abide. “Adopting the royal style which was familiar to him, and which commends the loyalty of a vassal in the most delicate manner by freely exacting his services” (“Ecce Homo”).

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

for to-day, &c.—Our Lord invites Himself, and in “royal” style, which waits not for invitations, but as the honor is done to the subject, not the sovereign, announces the purpose of royalty to partake of the subject’s hospitalities. Manifestly our Lord speaks as knowing how the privilege would be appreciated.

The Call: Hurry come down, I must stay at your house.
like a king inviting himself over to his house. Jesus interrupts the routine of Zacheuss life and just steps in.
The response:
 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.”

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.”

He Hurried
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Received with Joy
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
welcomed Him gladly. The word “gladly” (chairōn) is literally “rejoicing.” Luke used this verb (and the noun chara) nine times (1:14; 8:13; 10:17; 13:17; 15:5, 9, 32; 19:6, 37) to denote an attitude of joy accompanying faith and salvation.
welcomed Him gladly. The word “gladly” (chairōn) is literally “rejoicing.” Luke used this verb (and the noun chara) nine times (1:14; 8:13; 10:17; 13:17; 15:5, 9, 32; 19:6, 37) to denote an attitude of joy accompanying faith and salvation.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 252).
welcomed Him gladly. The word “gladly” (chairōn) is literally “rejoicing.” Luke used this verb (and the noun chara) nine times (1:14; 8:13; 10:17; 13:17; 15:5, 9, 32; 19:6, 37) to denote an attitude of joy accompanying faith and salvation.
Martin, J. A. (1985). Luke. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 252). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.welcomed Him gladly. The word “gladly” (chairōn) is literally “rejoicing.” Luke used this verb (and the noun chara) nine times (1:14; 8:13; 10:17; 13:17; 15:5, 9, 32; 19:6, 37) to denote an attitude of joy accompanying faith and salvation.
In response to the crowd Zachy stands- Stood (σταθεὶς). See on ch. 18:11. Describing a formal act, as of one who is about to make a solemn declaration. He was like the Pharisee in attitude, but not in spirit. The more formal word for standing, applied to the Pharisee in the temple, is here used of the publican.Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Vol. 1, p. 409). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
Martin, J. A. (1985). Luke. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 252). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Martin, J. A. (1985). Luke. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 252). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Martin, J. A. (1985). Luke. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 252). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
welcomed Him gladly. The word “gladly” (chairōn) is literally “rejoicing.” Luke used this verb (and the noun chara) nine times (1:14; 8:13; 10:17; 13:17; 15:5, 9, 32; 19:6, 37) to denote an attitude of joy accompanying faith and salvation.
Martin, J. A. (1985). Luke. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 252). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
And standing he declares: Half to the poor, and 4(x) to those he has defrauded. This is not a declaration of “if”, but here Zachy is recognizing his wrong, repenting, and turning from his was.
The response from Zacheus provoked the heavenly answer:
Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Vol. 1, p. 409). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
Martin, J. A. (1985). Luke. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 252). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
The response from Zacheus provoked the heavenly answer:
“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.” ().
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Conclusion

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

The Cross: The Final Interruption

Jesus left Jericho. While he called Zacheus off the tree, Jesus was on his way to climb up into his own tree interruption.
Jesus was on his way to the Cross, the final and effective interruption. This tree interruption would be the last one needed for all of man.
God in his love, calls to all of mankind via the Cross. In His love, he gives His Son, His Son out of love takes up the Cross and in that interruption he causes salvation.

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

The Response: is to believe. Its to have the Zacheus attitude. To receive gladly for faith and salvation.
The heavenly answer to our response is the removal of our shame

4  “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;

be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;

for you will forget the shame of your youth,

and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.

5  For your Maker is your husband,

the LORD of hosts is his name;

and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,

the God of the whole earth he is called.

8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

At the tree all things are reconciled
19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. ().
19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

(). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Our Response

Our Response

This morning God is calling out to you. Perhaps you are a believer in this place who has been perched on that sycamore for a long time. Your shame and guilt agonizing you, accusing you. Perhaps you climbed up that sycamore thinking you would get a better glimpse of Jesus that way, you climbed up there because your position would not allow you to see that Christ is coming directly your way.
Perhaps, you are listening and you have backslid for some time. Perhaps you have never been to church, but your sitting on that tree, hoping that you would be seen.
Today God calls on you. Today God wants to deal with your guilt, with your shame, with your mess! All he needs is the response of faith. Today God says to you Hurry up off that tree, I need to stay at your house tonight. Today God wants to bring salvation into your home.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
(). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
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