Summary: We rely to much on what others think that what God thinks. Please Lord take the 2 x 4 out of our own eye!!!!
The Ultimate Decision
August 20, 2014
I was reading the story of Zacchaeus this morning and I could not get the nursery rhyme out of my mind. Many Sunday School children sing a song about this man.
Zacchaeus was a wee little man
A wee little man was he……
Maybe that is where “and this little pig went wee, wee, wee all the way home” came from. Don’t you just love how an ADD mind works:)
Luke 19:1-10 "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 because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” 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.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
The first thing was why just not say tree and say Sycamore tree. Apparently a sycamore tree not only could grow to 30 to 40 feet but it also had short branches where a WEE little man could climb. Sorry! Jesus looked up at him and knew his name as he does every one of us without asking.
Now in those days a tax collector made a lot of money. They not only collected the tax for Rome but then added on what they wanted to. Sometimes it was crushing and deceitful what they did. When Jesus came into a town many people viewed Jesus as a religious figure. But the word religious has turned more people away from the church than has brought people into it. In fact Jesus had a lot to say about the “Religious leaders” the Pharisees and Saducees and it was not nice.
Jesus at this time in his ministry was followed by thousands for al the healing’s and great works that he was doing. Many people thought he was going to come and be their earthly king not their heavenly One. But Jesus was portrayed already as a unique prophet. Then to come into town and NOT meet with the religious leaders but to come and spend the evening eating at a tax collectors house was appalling for a “Religious Leader”. And this is where the church of today should take a good, hard look. Yesterday I said that the church in its essence needs to be a hospital for the sinner instead of a country club for the saints. But we already have to many huge buildings, nice coffee shops and large libraries with huge orchestras. We have created such a huge production of things that we have prevented the smelly leper from coming in. Of course the smelly leper is what we see form the outside. Everyone that comes in to the church is a smelly leper inside ONLY saved by God’s grace , ONLY.
When Jesus called out Zacchaeus name he JOYFULLY came down from the tree. The name of Jesus broke the arrogance of this tax collector so much so that he was willing to give half of his possessions to the poor and pay back 4 times as much if he had extorted any money from someone. No one can do that but the name of Jesus. Zaccaheus was not doing this so much as he was convicted but he finally grasped what “Salvation” meant. Repentance is a wonderful thing. The problem is that the more we puff ourselves up with religion and status the less we feel the need to repent. Also many feel in their heart “I have great status and if I go down to the altar to pray then people may wonder what I have done wrong?” I have been actually asked by not one but many people what was wrong with me when I have done that?? Yes, Lord please change and heal YOUR church.
Today you may have a sin that is like a splinter that has finally worked it’s way to the surface. That is OK, that is where God wants it. When you follow Jesus completely instead of playing church people may run from you, stop doing business with you or cast you aside because they don’t see the real you because of the 2 X 4 in their own eye.