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CHCC: September 17, 2006
Why am I Here?
The title of today’s sermon is “Why Am I Here?” I can’t hear that without remembering a Presidential Debate that happened a few years back. Ross Perot was running as an “Independent.” He chose an older fellow --- Retired Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale --- as his running mate. Vice Admiral Stockdale was a decorated former POW from the Viet Nam era. Well, the elderly man stepped up to the microphone and started off the Vice Presidential debate with these words: “Who am I … and why am I here?” Unfortunately, it came across like the old guy might really not know the answer. Late night comedians had a hay-day quoting him.
But if you think about it, Vice Admiral Stockdale had ask THE BIG QUESTION of life … for anyone who has the courage to ask it. “Who am I and why am I here?”
The good news is that the answer to that question is available … but only if we really, truly want to find the answer. If you want to know the true meaning of life, you have to be willing to break out of your routine, humdrum, status-quo kind of life. You have to be willing to “get off the treadmill”… kind of like the guy in this VIDEO…
Have you ever felt like Joe? (I’m not much for treadmills myself since I can’t seem to stay on them without flying off the back end.)
Today we’re going to look at a guy in the Bible who had the courage to get off his treadmill. He was a man who may very well have needed to Climb out of His Rut. He was a wealthy and successful businessman … he held a powerful position in Roman-occupied Israel. I guess you could say he was the Roman version of an IRS agent. We meet him in Luke chapter 19:
1. Climb out of our rut
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. Luke 19:1-4
Zacchaeus was the probably the kind of man that a lot of people would envy. He had risen to the top of his profession. Now, admittedly, he may not have been very popular with the general population … after all, no one likes to see the tax collector coming their way. But what did that matter? Zacchaeus was rich and he was powerful. Some people would say he “had it all.” But Zacchaeus didn’t think so. He knew something was missing…he just wasn’t sure what.
Money didn’t satisfy. Power wasn’t enough. Chances are, Zacchaeus was asking life’s most basic question: Why am I here? And some instinct told him that if he could just see who Jesus was, he might get the answer to his question.
Look at how much trouble Zacchaeus went to in order to see who Jesus was. First of all, he ran ahead. That may not have been so easy. He was probably no spring chicken. After all, it probably took a lot of years to rise to the position of chief tax collector. Running was probably not something he did every day of the week. And I think we can guarantee that climbing a tree was not part of his daily routine.
The point is, every one of us has a Sycamore Tree to climb if we really want to see who Jesus is. So let me ask you today: what is your
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