Summary: Everyone has the need to be loved. A life-changing moment happens when we hear the All-powerful Creator, Maker of the vast universe, express His loves to us personally, calling us by our name.
HE KNOWS MY NAME!
A. HUMOR: THE IRS SHUFFLE (2 days ago – tax day)
1. Tax his cow, Tax his goat; Tax his pants, Tax his coat;
Tax his crop, Tax his work; Tax his ties, Tax his shirt;
2. Tax his chew, Tax his smoke; Teach him taxing is no joke.Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule; Tell him,Taxing is the rule.
3. Tax his oil, Tax his gas; Tax his notes, Tax his cash;
Tax him good and let him know, That after taxes, he has no dough.
4. If he hollers, Tax him more; Tax him till he's good and sore.
Tax his coffin, Tax his grave, Tax his sod in which he's laid.
5. Put these words upon his tomb, Taxes drove him to his doom.
After he's gone, we won't relax, We'll still collect inheritance tax.
1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. 5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.’” 8 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.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”
1. Everyone has the need to be loved, to know that we’re unique and special.
2. A life-changing moment can happen when the All-powerful Creator, who made all the vast universe we see, loves us personally and calls us by name.
3. We’re going to take a few minutes to look at the life of one man who had a God-moment and made this discovery.
4. The title of tonight’s message is “He Knows My Name!”
I. ZACCHAEUS, A NEEDY PERSON
A. ZACCHEAUS & HIS CONTEMPORARIES
1. I’m sure that Zaccheaus, to the people of Jericho, looked like he was happy, successful, proud to be who he was, and self-assured.
2. But that was just the façade he paraded before people. In truth, he was a very needy & unhappy man.
3. PHYSIQUE. It’s not bad to be a short woman, but short men are in a disadvantage in a fight with other men, and typically can’t date taller women.
4. It's one thing to be short, but when Jews start calling you short -- that's short! Have you ever heard of a Jewish basketball star? No!
5. AS A JEW, he was hated by the Romans.
a. Cicero wrote: "The Jews belong to a dark and repulsive force….They are a nation of rascals and deceivers."
b. Diodorus Siculus, first century Greek historian, observed that Jews treated other peoples as enemies & inferiors. By "usury" they caused great misery and poverty for Gentiles.
c. Jews called Gentiles “dogs” commonly. The Romans knew their attitudes & despised them.
6. AS A TAX COLLECTOR
a. Just like today, even back then, almost nobody liked the tax man. Jewish tax collectors were oppressors & traitors to Rome. They exacted more taxes than required to enrich themselves; legal highway robbers!
b. Jewish tax collectors were quarantined as "Moral Lepers." The Pharisees wouldn't acknowledge them on the streets or enter their houses;
c. They were turned away from synagogues and the Temple.
7. SUMMARY. So in reality, although he looked good, Zacchaeus undoubtedly had an inferiority complex. He was hated by his bosses, a traitor to his people, cut off from God. No one was his friend or would speak to him.
B. THOUGHT: “CERTAINLY GOD CONDEMNS ME”
1. WHY WOULDN’T HE? Everybody else loathes me – God must too.
2. My job makes me hurt people – rob them.
3. All the spiritual people shout at me that I’m destined to burn in hell.
4. Since I’m despised by everybody, surely I’m despised by God!
5. (But everybody longs to be loved – even Zacchaeus!)
6. HOW WRONG HE WAS! God DID care about him. God predestined that meeting with Jesus that day, from all eternity.
II. ZACH WANTED TO KNOW GOD