Faithlife Sermons

The Gospel for the Outcast - Christ's Call to Sinners

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 826 views
Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

He entered Jericho and was passing through.  And 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 of 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.”[1]

Zacchaeus 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 Lord came walking by, He looked up in the tree.

And He said, Zacchaeus!  You come down!

For I’m going to your house today.

For I’m going to your house today.

Perhaps you will recall that song from childhood days in Sunday School.  I suppose that each of us sang it at one time or another when we were children.  It is a cute little song which helped each of us to remember the story of Zacchaeus and his efforts to see Jesus as He travelled through the town of Jericho.  Today, I want to invite your attention so that you can see a facet of the Saviour which must always be emphasised—His compassion for those commonly called sinners.  As we peruse the story, we will also witness the transformation which always accompanies God’s grace.

A Sinner Seeks to See the Saviour — There is an attraction about Jesus.  There is a beauty in His words, in His mercy, in His grace toward sinners.  Though obscured through cultural encrustation and distortion by ungodly expectations, Christ nevertheless draws sinners to Himself.  There is a yearning in many, a longing to be free from guilt and condemnation.  That desire for freedom drives the sinner to seek the Saviour, even when they do not realise that it is the Saviour they seek.

Focus for a moment on, Zacchaeus.  What do we know about him?  From the text, we know that he was rich, but that his riches were likely ill gotten.  He is identified as a chief tax collector [ajrcitelwvnh"].  This is a rare word, occurring only once in the whole of the New Testament, but it would lead us to believe that Zacchaeus headed a consortium of men who controlled the collection of Roman duties on this trade route.

Jericho appears to have been a Roman regional centre, straddling the main road for east-west trade passing through Judea and Perea.[2]  It was as though Jericho formed a bottleneck for the various trade routes between the orient and Africa.  All goods passing eastward toward Syria and points east would of necessity pass through Jericho.  All goods passing westward toward Egypt and Africa would likewise pass through Jericho.  This would be a major point for collection of duties.  Hence, whoever held the concession for the collection of taxes would likely grow quite wealthy under the most innocent of circumstances.  Because of the reputation of tax collectors, we might surmise that Zacchaeus had enriched himself through squeezing those whom he taxed.

We know Zacchaeus was Jewish.  The Lord identifies him as a son of Abraham [Luke 19:9].  His parents had given him the name y®K®z, which spoke of their hopes for this child.  The name means clean or innocent.  The name would convey the thought that he was righteous.  It would not be inappropriate to say that his name meant Righteous One.

I confess that I am only speculating, but the name which his parents gave him lead me to believe that Zacchaeus was raised by godly parents.  He would have likely been trained in the Word of God, in righteousness, to look for Messiah.  Did you have a godly home?  What a rich heritage you have.  Did you parents train you in righteousness?  What a blessed individual you are.  If your parents prayed with you and took you to church and enrolled you in Sunday School, you are a blessed individual.

As a young man, I was far from God.  It was not for lack of a godly family, however.  My paternal grandfather was a preacher.  Seldom if ever was I in his presence except that he prayed for me, pleading that God would keep me from evil.  My grandmother, his wife, was more a mother to me than my mother could have been.  She was primarily Cherokee, and she was a Christian.  She prayed for me until the day she died.  She didn’t hesitate to correct me, but it was always with love.

My dad was a rough man.  His life was hard, but he always praised God, leaving a rich heritage for my brother and me.  He would read the Bible to us on cold winter evenings.  We didn’t have a television, but we had Josephus and we had the literature of American poets, and he would read these to us after he had read the Bible and prayed for his boys.  As a young man, I can remember many evenings coming home late at night and hearing my dad a he knelt by his bedside, praying for the safety of his boys and asking God to save them.  I am a rich man!  I believe that I speak to some people who would say upon reflection that they are rich because of the family God gave to them.  And I suspect that Zacchaeus was a rich man in ways other than material wealth.

Though Zacchaeus was wealthy, he was not content.  There was a gnawing emptiness in his life.  Many of us, perhaps even all of us, have experience that sense of barrenness.  Though we have achieved some goal we thought important, it brought no satisfaction.  Though we laboured and toiled and gained some milestone, it did not make us complete as we had imagined.

I struggled and studied and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in chemistry and biology.  I would not have attended my graduation except my grandmother asked me to attend for her sake.  I toiled and earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry, and didn’t bother to attend the graduation ceremonies.  They were behind me.  With the attainment of each goal, I found nothing but emptiness and the need for another goal.

The Preacher, the Quoholeth, writing in Ecclesiastes, speaks of this frustration.  He speaks of all that he possessed: rich foods and wine; houses; gardens and parks; wealth untold and entertainment of every imaginable sort.  Nevertheless, he was unfulfilled.  He turned his attention to the pursuit of wisdom, and attained intellectual heights others may only imagine.  At the last, he wrote of his achievements.

I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool?  Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun.  This also is vanity.  So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labours under the sun, because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it.  This also is vanity and a great evil.  What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun?  For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation.  Even in the night his heart does not rest.  This also is vanity.

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil.  This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?  For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God.  This also is vanity and a striving after wind [Ecclesiastes 2:18-26].

Zacchaeus also seemed to have it all; but he was empty.  What is more, I suggest to you that his strange desire to see Jesus demonstrates that he suspected what was missing.  I suggest that he was familiar with the words of the Preacher.  Zacchaeus was busy gathering and collecting, and all without satisfaction.  The corollary would drive him to conclude that he had failed to please God.  Until God is central to life, all our toils are futile.  Satisfaction comes through a relationship, and not through possession.

I am compelled to speak pointedly to you who listen today.  Some of you are terribly distraught.  You have laboured and yet you have no peace.  You thought that money would satisfy, and you have found that it brings scant comfort to your tormented soul.  You have sought completion in family, in a relationship with another fallen individual, in titles or in memberships, and yet you are empty.  There is no peace outside of that peace which is offered in our relationship to the True and Living God.

Longs years before Jesus’ day, the Prophet Isaiah spoke of the restless heart.  Perhaps the words which the man of God penned had found lodging in Zacchaeus’ heart.  I wonder if the chief tax collector of Jericho knew these words?

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,

who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:

“I dwell in the high and holy place,

and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,

to revive the spirit of the lowly,

and to revive the heart of the contrite.

For I will not contend forever,

nor will I always be angry;

for the spirit would grow faint before me,

and the breath of life that I made.

Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry,

I struck him; I hid my face and was angry,

but he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart.

I have seen his ways, but I will heal him;

I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners,

creating the fruit of the lips.

Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,” says the Lord,

“and I will heal him.

But the wicked are like the tossing sea;

for it cannot be quiet,

and its waters toss up mire and dirt.

There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

[Isaiah 57:15-21]

We also know that Zacchaeus was small of stature.  The fact that he was vertically challenged will soon become significant.  Though he had an emptiness and a yearning for some undefined something, he had done nothing about it so far as we know.  There was a stir on this particular day as the Galilean prophet entered Jericho.

Jesus had told His disciples that He was on His way to Jerusalem, where He had a date with destiny.  Taking the twelve, He said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished.  For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon.  And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise” [Luke 18:31-33].  However, the disciples were so obtuse that they could not grasp what He said.

 At the edge of Jericho, Jesus was drawn to a blind man.  The man heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby.  Knowing of His compassion and knowing that He was a healer, this blind man called out for mercy and refused to be quieted.  Hearing the commotion, Jesus called for the man and restored his sight.  It should not be surprising that the man who was once blind followed Jesus, glorifying God and the people surrounding Jesus likewise began to praise God [Luke 18:35-43]. 

The account of events following restoration of sight to Bartimaeus naturally leads to the conclusion that there was a great stir with considerable noise.  It would be as though a spontaneous parade marched down the streets of the town.  As the crowd moved through the city, people would line the street to catch a glimpse of who or what was causing the commotion.

Zacchaeus was also curious, and he hurried to see who was creating this uproar.  His stature worked against him.  I suppose that had any of the people turned to see who was trying to crowd through, they might have given him an elbow in the eye.  The text leaves the impression that the crowds were densely packed about Jesus and the noise of praise mingled with the telling and retelling of what had just occurred would make normal conversation impossible.  Zacchaeus could not find out who was in the street.

He did the only sensible thing he could do.  He ran ahead of the crowd and climbed a sycamore tree which was situated beside the street.  There he could see … and be seen.  Jesus did pass directly beneath the tree, and as He passed beneath Zacchaeus, He stopped, looked up and spoke to the chief tax collector of Jericho.

The Saviour Seeks a Sinner — The Saviour seeks sinners.  The text concludes with the words, the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost [Luke 19:10].  This is a wonderful truth, because it means that long before we sought Jesus, He sought us.  Matthew’s Gospel presents a beautiful invitation to the weary sinner.  Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light [Matthew 11:28-30].

Jesus reaches out to those whom society views as outcasts.  The Gospel is for the outcast.  Moreover, those whom society despises and whom God calls are called to full inheritance of a child of God.  All that God will give to His child is offered freely to the meanest of persons.

Jesus told a parable which astonished the people of His day.  Consequently, that same parable disturbs people to this day.  I have often looked at the parable as Christians pointed to the unfairness of what Jesus said.  Turn in your Bibles to Matthew 20:1-16.

The kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard.  After agreeing with the labourers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard.  And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and to them he said, “You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.”  So they went.  Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same.  And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing.  And he said to them, “Why do you stand here idle all day?”  They said to him, “Because no one has hired us.”  He said to them, “You go into the vineyard too.”  And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, “Call the labourers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.”  And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius.  Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius.  And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, saying, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.”  But he replied to one of them, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong.  Did you not agree with me for a denarius?  Take what belongs to you and go.  I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you.  Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me?  Or do you begrudge my generosity?” 

So the last will be first, and the first last.

It its original historical setting, the latecomers to the kingdom were the “tax collectors and sinners.”  In the larger sweep of salvation history, one may think of Gentiles hearing God’s word later than Jews, of people coming to faith during different periods of church history or at different ages in life, of Christians with varying degrees of commitment and faithfulness, and the like…  [The parable] teaches that there are no degrees of reward in heaven.[3]

Christians sometimes assume that there are degrees of reward in heaven, but no text of Scripture supports that notion.  The very nature of grace precludes such a concept.  We object because grace does not seem fair, but it is grace we need and not justice.

What has this to do with Jesus calling sinners?  The Son of God still calls sinners, and as they respond to His call, He treats them each as His own beloved son.  The inheritance of each is the same as that of others.  The vilest sinner in this town can receive the same life and the same inheritance as does Billy Graham.  The message of the Master is that there is no favouritism with Him.  As He calls, He calls to life.  He seeks those who will receive life, heaven and all that goes with it.  The invitation which I issue in Jesus’ Name is an invitation to the fullness of life which He promises.

The promise of Jesus is, I came that [My sheep] may have life and have it abundantly [John 10:10].  This is the same promise which I am able to issue to each individual today.  If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 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.  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.  We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.  For he says,

“In a favourable time I listened to you,

and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”

Behold, now is the favourable time; behold, now is the day of salvation

[2 Corinthians 5:17-6:2]. 

Pausing under the sycamore tree which Zacchaeus had climbed, Jesus looked up and spoke to the chief tax collector of Jericho.  Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.  Though the Saviour had a date with destiny in Jerusalem, He first had a date with a sinner in Jericho.  What we are witnessing is nothing less than stunning, for the Master puts all eternity on hold for the sake of one sinner.  Is it possible that all time is on hold as the Master calls you?  If you are now under sentence of death, condemned as a sinner and without grace, the call of the Saviour is for you.

When He taught them of His pending passion, the disciples did not know that they would overnight in Jericho.  When He restored sight to blind Bartimaeus, the crowds witnessing His power were unaware that He had scheduled a stop in Jericho.  Zacchaeus, curious to see what was causing such a stir, was ignorant that he would shortly host the One at the centre of the hubbub.

I am compelled to note that when Jesus calls sinners, they are expected to respond with alacrity.  So [Zacchaeus] hurried and come down and received [Jesus] joyfully.  The Saviour seeks those whom the Father has given Him, but as He calls, those whom He calls are obligated to respond.  I watch with dismay as men and women play fast and loose with life, as though Holy God will not hold them to account.  Though the Saviour now calls, yet they hesitate; and as they delay, they are imperilled, not knowing that God is patient, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance [2 Peter 3:9].

Take note that when Zacchaeus responded to the Master, those crowding Him grumbled.  He has gone in to be guest of a man who is a sinner [Luke 19:7].  This is the glory of our message: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners [1 Timothy 1:15].  He associates with sinners, since He seeks to save them.  He welcomes sinners, since He loved them enough to give His own life as a sacrifice for them.

The crowd was offended by Jesus’ intention to stay with Zacchaeus.  Though they liked Jesus’ miracles, they did not care for His personal associations.  When they speak of Jesus as guest of Zacchaeus, the grumblers used a rare word—katalu`sai.  Kataluvw occurs only twice in the New Testament, here and in Luke 9:12.  The verb literally means to unhitch pack animals for the night.  The thought is that Jesus had settled down there for the night.

A Sinner Transformed — Zacchaeus sought a glimpse of the centre of attention; he received so much more than he could have imagined.  He wanted a glimpse; he gained an opportunity to host the Lord of Glory.  Previously, we gathered that his life was empty, and now that life would be full.  Notice how Zacchaeus’ life is transformed.  When he submits to Jesus as Master, his life is thereafter marked by joy, generosity and restitution.  Saved people are transformed people.  Dear people, if you gain nothing else from this message today, heed this truth.  Changed lives are the evidence of God’s salvation.  We do not perform deeds in order to be saved, but because we are saved, our changed lives will be evident through the deeds we perform.

Zacchaeus demonstrates that a rich man can be saved.  You may recall that this was an issue with the disciples [cf. Luke 18:18-29].  Zacchaeus demonstrates that a rich man can go through the eye of a needle [see Luke 18:25].  There is no doubt that among those who were astonished by the events of that day was the band of Jesus’ disciples.  Though they had witnessed the salvation of many people, they still equated wealth with God’s blessings.

I must address this issue.  To this day, Christians appear to operate under the assumption that God requires powerful people in order to make His work effective.  I have lived long enough to conclude that big names and great wealth can be a serious detriment to the work of God.  We witness the effort of churches to get some powerful or notable individual to say something good about Jesus, as though God needed their words.  We witness an astonishing submission to wealth, even within the churches of our Lord Christ.  It is as though Christians did not know that God is the One who provides for their needs.  This is the reason for the caution which Paul issues.

There is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.  But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.  But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.  It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

…As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.  They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

[1 Timothy 6:6-10, 17-19]

I still remember with wry amusement a self-important man in a former church who confronted me, demanding special consideration.  “Who do you think pays your salary?” he demanded.  “This church will die without my money.”

Looking that man in the eye, I quoted Peter, You and your money can go to hell.[4]

A couple of weeks ago a man shared our morning worship.  That morning, I preached the first in this series of messages on the Gospel for the outcasts.  As I spoke, I poured out my heart for sinners to be saved.  In the course of the message, I related some of the negative response previous churches had exhibited toward people coming to faith in the Son of God and the rebuke I had delivered to those naysayers.

After the service, that man grabbed me and asked to speak with me.  He introduced himself, telling me that he was from a certain church within our Baptist Zion.  He said, “We need you.  Oh, if only you would come to our church!”

I laughed when he told me the name of his congregation.  Then, I told him a little story.  The church of which he is a member was on another occasion seeking pastoral leadership.  The Area Minister and I were speaking.  At that time, I pastored an unaffiliated Baptist church and the Area Minister was seeking to recruit me for pastoral work within the denomination.

As we talked, the Area Minister mentioned the same church our guest had spoken of and said that I would have a great platform from which to preach were I to go there.  Almost immediately, a startled look crossed his face and he retreated from his previous certainty, “But it would never do for you to go there.  You don’t respect money.”

I laughed as I related that story to our guest, concluding with this word, “Sir, I haven’t changed.”

Salvation does not consist of what one possesses, but it is found in the One to whom we surrender.  Salvation is found in Christ as Lord of life, and when one is saved, life is transformed.  John’s first letter is a treatise on the evidence of salvation.  John writes, I write these things to you who believe in the Name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life [1 John 5:13].

What did he write?  According to John’s first letter, the characteristics of the children of God are fivefold.  Those five characteristics are as follows.  I encourage you to write them down and carefully consider them over the coming week.

The child of God does right.  If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him [1 John 2:29].  Zacchaeus, with joy, demonstrates a generous spirit, which was previously absent from his life.  Legal restitution for extortion was twenty percent [cf. Leviticus 5:16; Numbers 5:7].  Zacchaeus voluntarily assumes the harsher double penalty that the Mosaic Law imposed on rustlers [Exodus 22:1].  By assuming this obligation, Zacchaeus demonstrates the thank offering expressive of a changed heart.[5]

The child of God does not continue to sin.  No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God [1 John 3:9].  Zacchaeus, of necessity would need to cease extortion and theft, since he could not long continue under the self-imposed penalties.

The child of God loves the brotherhood of believers.  We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers.  Whoever does not love abides in death.  Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him [1 John 3:14].  Zacchaeus was quite practical in revealing his love for the brothers—he would not only cease stealing, but he would restore what he had stolen.

The child of God loves as the Father loves.  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God [1 John 4:7].  Zacchaeus exhibited the joy which comes from walking in the Father’s love, just as John had earlier stated.  We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete [1 John 1:4].

Lastly, the child of God overcomes the world.  Everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith [1 John 5:4].  There was a tremendous change of heart for Zacchaeus.  He went from using people to serving people.

Zacchaeus demonstrated the reality of the tax collector who humbly prayed for mercy [Luke 18:9-14].  You no doubt will remember how that tax collector prayed, saying, God be merciful to me, a sinner [Luke 18:13].

This final observation has been alluded to, but it must be iterated due to its importance.  When Jesus called, Zacchaeus responded [Luke 19:5, 6].  Without doubt, the Son of God calls today.  Even among us are some who have yet to respond to the message of life.  Are you tired of your empty way of life?  There is fulfilment and joy waiting your response to the Master’s call.  Are you dissatisfied with the lack of intimacy with the Father?  There is intimacy as His dearly loved child awaiting your response.

This is the call of God.  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.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.  For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”  For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.  For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” [Romans 10:9-13].

Come, die to your own aspirations that you may be truly alive in Christ.  Come, die to your own distorted drives that you may be forever alive in the Son of God.  This is the call of God to sinners, whether outcasts of society or whether outcasts from grace, mercy is extended to all who will receive it today.  Amen.


It its original historical setting, the latecomers to the kingdom were the “tax collectors and sinners.”  In the larger sweep of salvation history, one may think of Gentiles hearing God’s word later than Jews, of people coming to faith during different periods of church history or at different ages in life, of Christians with varying degrees of commitment and faithfulness, and the like…  [The parable] teaches that there are no degrees of reward in heaven.[6]

The child of God does right.  If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him [1 John 2:29].  Zacchaeus, with joy, demonstrates a generous spirit, which was previously absent from his life.  Legal restitution for extortion was twenty percent [cf. Leviticus 5:16; Numbers 5:7].  Zacchaeus voluntarily assumes the harsher double penalty that the Mosaic Law imposed on rustlers [Exodus 22:1].  By assuming this obligation, Zacchaeus demonstrates the thank offering expressive of a changed heart.[7]

The child of God does not continue to sin.  No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God [1 John 3:9].  Zacchaeus, of necessity would need to cease extortion and theft, since he could not long continue under the self-imposed penalties.

The child of God loves the brotherhood of believers.  We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers.  Whoever does not love abides in death.  Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him [1 John 3:14].  Zacchaeus was quite practical in revealing his love for the brothers—he would not only cease stealing, but he would restore what he had stolen.

The child of God loves as the Father loves.  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God [1 John 4:7].  Zacchaeus exhibited the joy which comes from walking in the Father’s love, just as John had earlier stated.  We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete [1 John 1:4].

Lastly, the child of God overcomes the world.  Everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith [1 John 5:4].  There was a tremendous change of heart for Zacchaeus.  He went from using people to serving people.


----

[1] Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Ó 2001, Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All Rights Reserved

[2] Robert H. Stein, The New American Commentary: Luke, Vol. 24 (Nashville, Broadman, 1992) 467

[3] Craig L. Blomberg, The New American Commentary: Matthew, Vol. 22 (Nashville, Broadman, 1992) 304

[4] Clarence Jorden, The Cotton Patch Version of Luke and Acts (Jesus’ Doings and the Happenings), (New Win Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 5159, Clinton, NJ 08809, 1969) 109

[5] Darrell L. Bock, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: Luke 9:51-24:53 (Grand Rapids, Baker, 1996) 1520

[6] Craig L. Blomberg, The New American Commentary: Matthew, Vol. 22 (Nashville, Broadman, 1992) 304

[7] Darrell L. Bock, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: Luke 9:51-24:53 (Grand Rapids, Baker, 1996) 1520

Related Media
Related Sermons