Summary: See what Zacchaeus teaches us about giving, especially as a response to repentance and salvation.
One of the best evidences of genuine salvation is generosity. That¡¦s right ¡V when God enters a life, giving becomes a way of life.
Would you say that with me as I show it behind me on the screen?
When God enters a life, giving becomes a way of life.
Unfortunately, too many people are like the businessman who, after being away on business, thought it would be nice to bring his wife a little gift. ¡§How about some perfume?¡¨ he asked the cosmetics clerk. She showed him a bottle costing $50.00. ¡§That¡¦s a bit much,¡¨ he said, so she returned with a smaller bottle for $30.00. ¡§That¡¦s still quite a bit,¡¨ he complained. Growing annoyed, the clerk brought out a tiny $15.00 bottle. ¡§You know,¡¨ he said, ¡§What I mean is that I¡¦d like to see something really cheap.¡¨ At that point the clerk handed him a mirror!
Fortunately, that was not how Zacchaeus showed gratefulness when God changed his life. Instead, he became very generous when God saved him. Yes, the little man who stole became the big man who gave once he met Jesus.
Open your Bible to Luke 19 and let¡¦s see the change that took place in this man¡¦s life as a result of an encounter with Christ, and gain further insight into the simple principle we¡¦ve already stated.
As you are turning there, I want to paint the backdrop a bit by reminding you that much of the material in these two chapters ¡V our passage for this week¡¦s message and small groups ¡V deals with giving. For instance¡K
...18:18-22 is about a man who couldn¡¦t give anything away.
...18:23-30 is about disciples who had already given everything away.
...18:31-35 is about Jesus who just about to give his life away.
So as we come to Zacchaeus, it is not surprising that giving is an integral part of this text. Follow with me as we read.
...V. 2 says his ¡§name was Zacchaeus¡¨ which literally means ¡§righteous one.¡¨ However, that was a far cry from reality when you look at¡K
...V. 2 ¡V he was a ¡§chief tax collector.¡¨ Not just a rookie or a low-level employee¡Ka chief! So his status was far from righteous¡Khe was the scum of society. In fact, the text indicates most folks agreed with this as they considered him a ¡§sinner,¡¨ for this is what they were ¡§muttering.¡¨(v. 7)
...His curiosity is intriguing ¡V ¡§he wanted to see Jesus¡¨ (v. 3). So he devises a creative way to get a wide-angle view of the Christ: Climb a tree! I have to admit that for a chief tax collector to climb a tree must have been a strange sight, but it clues us in on just how deep his curiosity was. To what measure would you go to see Jesus, to get a glimpse of the Savior?
...V. 5 contains a key word ¡V ¡§must.¡¨ The use of this word indicates textually an imperative situation, which is why I believe it is at this point that Christ is saying, in effect, ¡§Today is the day you have to believe. So get down here!¡¨ And what did Zac say?
...V. 6 indicates he ¡§welcomed him gladly,¡¨ which I believe is the point at which Zacchaeus believed. Zac¡¦s response is a response to Christ¡¦s initiative, which is exactly what happens in salvation scenarios. Christ reaches out to us, and we respond.