This week we are going to take a look at a well known bible character named Zacchaeus and his brief role in the Gospel story.
Luke has the following to say about this man, i will include it all and refer back to it afterwards.
Luke 19:1-10 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Zacchaeus, we are told was a rich man and the chief among the publicans (tax collectors). In his day perhaps even more than ours, tax collectors were not popular. They could and did collect more than was owed and pocketed the excess. Zacchaeus must have heard about Jesus and when He came to town went out to see Him. There must have been many more people in Jericho who had the same idea and got there before Zacchaeus and since he was short he couldn't see, so he runs ahead of the crowd and climbs a tree. When Jesus gets there He notices Zacchaeus and calls hin down out of the tree and chooses his house for His next pulput. At this point i'd like to add that he was not the only person in the gospels who made extra effort to get to Jesus and was rewarded for it. Of course the people murmered as people often do when the Lord chooses to honor someone else.
Here is what Zacchaeus said after Jesus choose to come to his house And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And here is Jesus response This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. And this is the main point i want to make in this story. Zacchaeus had heard about the Lord, as many of us and many among us have heard about the Lord. Zachaeus made the extra effort that was necessary to see the Lord, as many also do in many ways. Jesus took notice of his efforts and invited Himself to his house. Notice though that it was not until Zacchaeus accepted Jesus into his house AND repented of his sin by pledging to restore that which he had stolen and give to the poor that Jesus said This day is salvation come to this house.
Being saved is more than escaping the lake of fire, it is a total change in essence of what you are what you are about. This change may not be noticed right away or it may be dramatic. It happens instantly yet takes a lifetime to complete. There are many who have taken the extra effort to see Jesus, and Jesus has invited Himself into your house yet for whatever reason you haven't accepted this invitation. Don't leave Him at the door too long. There are many who have invited Jesus into your house and never repented, for those who fall into this catagory here is a story to consider in Luke 7: 36-47
And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet,would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
Here the Pharisee invited Jesus into his house and instead of being ministered to, saw a woman that everybody acknowledged was a sinner be ministered to. Notice the attitude of the Pharisee in his thoughts This man, if he were a prophet is one of doubt. If he really believed Jesus was the Messiah, he would have had a different attitude however he trusted too much in the traditions passed down to him to recognize the savior that all his people were looking for. His tradition or one of them can be seen in the words of John the Baptist In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. Matthew 3:1-9
And again in this exchange between Jesus and other Pharisees. John 8:30-36 As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. They thought that since they were decendants of Abraham they were golden in God's eyes. They could not have been more wrong These people were in the most dangerous state of mind possable because they thought they were good to go and nobody could tell them otherwise. Many people now days have the same attitude because somebody passed down a tradition that told them so, yet they never dug deep into God's word to find out if it was true. Perhaps they have dined with the Lord and even worked (they thought) for Him. If you even suspect that you might fall into this catagory i implore you to study God's word and know for sure. The last thing any of us want to hear is I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:23 so take the advise found in the next 4 verses Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, (Jesus' not mine) and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. verses 24-27. Know God through Jesus for yourself, and encourage your children to do the same, God will assist you and richly bless you for it.
Thats it for this week folks i pray that you have had a good week and until next week the King of creation bless and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you and give you peace.