Summary: In this passage Luke shares with us the story of Zacchaeus - a chief tax collector who 1. Wanted to see Jesus 2. Wo possessed a spirit of humility 3. Who opened his heart and home to Jesus and 4. Who displayed the heart and life of righteousness
Theme: Seeking to See Jesus
Title: Zacchaeus - The Righteous One
In this passage Luke shares with us the story of Zacchaeus - a chief tax collector who 1. Wanted to see Jesus 2. Wo possessed a spirit of humility 3. Who opened his heart and home to Jesus and 4. Who displayed the heart and life of righteousness
Grace and peace from God our Father and from His Son Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world!
There are some cities that are famous for a specific thing or two. For example, the cities of Boston, New York and Pittsburg are famous for their love of sports (baseball, football, basketball, the marathon etc...). The cities of New Orleans and Memphis are famous for their love of music and festivals (Mardi Gras and Elvis Week). The cities of Chicago and Austin are famous for their love of food ( deep pan pizza and BBQ).
So, if I ask you this morning what the cities of Milan (Italy), Nottingham (England), and Jericho are famous for you might be a little stumped. I know I would be. Actually, they are the locations of some of the greatest spiritual conversions ever recorded in history. St. Augustine of Hippo (City of God - doctrine of grace and original sin) in 386 AD came to faith in the city of Milan. William Booth (Salvation Army) came to faith in 1844 in the city of Nottingham, England and from our passage this morning we know that the chief tax collector Zacchaeus came to a fullness of faith in the city of Jericho through Jesus.
Now, the city of Jericho has experienced a long and vibrant history. Archaeologist believe that the first humans settled in the city around 9000 BC making it one of the world's oldest cities. Most of us remember Jericho being the location of one of the most famous military battles in the Bible. Jericho was the first town captured by Joshua and the Israelites as they came into the Promise Land. Many of may remember the African-American Spiritual - Joshua Fit the Battle. The first line went like this:
Joshua fit the battle of Jericho
Joshua fit the battle of Jericho
And the walls come tumbling down
Historians tell us that around 35 BC Mark Anthony presented the city as a gift to his wife Cleopatra. Cleopatra believed that the persimmons that grew around the city's oasis produced a perfume which reputedly would "drive men wild". Later on when Cleopatra needed money she leased a portion of the city to Herod the Great for an exorbitant fee. Reportedly, it cost King Herod almost half of Judea's income to lease the land. King Herod wanted Jericho for its economic, political and military importance. Following the deaths of both Anthony and Cleopatra, Cesar Augustus awarded the city of Jericho to King Herod for his faithful allegiance. Josephus records that King Herod enriched the town with a number of public buildings, including a hippodrome and an amphitheatre, together with a winter palace for himself and villas for the Jewish upper class in the new town west of ancient Jericho.