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6-4-06 Zacchaeus

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6-4-06 Zacchaeus

Last week we had a great time at BMCR worked a lot, had fun & food did I say worked a lot, had 4 baptisms Praised the Lord and helped our denom camp get ready for the camping season. They say thank You!

During our service time I talked about the disciple Philip or just ordinary folk.

In continuing our series “Who Christ Calls” we are finished with the apostles of Christ or the 12 disciples of Christ.

When we talked about Matthew the tax collector (or Levi as he was first called) we found out that tax collectors were called sinners by others

Today we are going to talk about a head tax collector (or sinner) who was a short guy that Christ reached with kindness.

I am sure you realize we are talking about Zacchaeus the wee little man

From childhood Sunday school some of you may know the song Zacchaeus was a wee little man a wee little man was he. He climbed up in a sycamore tree to see what he could see……. OK so maybe that’s why Chris leads singing

Lk19 1-10     Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.  5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.’” 8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” 

Jericho was a very wealthy and a very important town. Men called it “The City of Palms.     Balsam and roses

Jericho one of the greatest taxation centers in Palestine

Zacchaeus was a man who had reached the top of his profession; and he was the most hated man in the district. He was the head dood!

Zacchaeus was wealthy but he was not happy. Inevitably he was lonely, for he had chosen a way that made him an outcast.

 He had heard of this Jesus who welcomed tax-collectors and sinners, and he wondered if he would have any word for him.

Despised and hated by men, Zacchaeus was reaching after the love of God.

Zacchaeus determined to see Jesus, and would let nothing stop him.

He could not see      So he ran on ahead and climbed a sycamore tree  also called a fig-mulberry tree.            

 A traveler describes the tree as being like “the English oak, and its shade is most pleasing.

Christ stops Looks up and tells Zacchaeus to come down so He could stay at his house. Jesus was being kind to Zacchaeus.

The crowd was not happy at all, In fact the Greek word used states that they murmured ( like the humming of bees)

 Why would Jesus stay at this mans house he stole from them all?

Kind of like we complain when something good happens to someone we don’t like so much

Zacchaeus could have been proud and haughty that Christ was coming to his home. Instead he was humble and discovered that he had found a new, kind, and wonderful friend, immediately right there Zacchaeus made a decision

He was a changed man in Jesus Christ  He decided to give half of his goods to the poor;

And the other half to make restitution for the frauds of which he had been self-confessedly guilty. 

4 times the amount.  Law only required  2 Times the amount. He repented

Jesus tells him today salvation has come to your household

Also that Christ has come for the lost.

This is interesting because we have talked about how tax collectors were considered sinners, now Christ shares that He has come for the lost sinners

Therefore being that we are all lost sinners Christ has come for all of us that we may be lead to repentance and turn our lives over to Him.

In conclusion: We see that Zacchaeus was a lost sinner, Jesus came along and was kind to him and asked to meet with him.

He turned his life over to Christ and repented of his sin and turned over a new leaf.

Christ did this with simple love and kindness not with rebuke and judgment.

We need to remember this as we share Christ with others that it must be with love and kindness. As we are told in:

Rom 2:1-4 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?

Now go and do likewise, Let us pray.

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