Summary: Lay up your treasures in Heaven
Invest For the Long Term
There was a man living in the city of Jericho by the name of Zaccheus. Zaccheus
was a man who was not well liked or accepted in Jericho. You see he was a tax
collector. But Zaccheus was no ordinary tax collector, He was the Head tax
collector for that area.
When Zaccheus heard that Jesus was coming to Jericho he had to see Him. There
was a crowd of people and Zaccheus, well, I wouldn’t say Zaccheus was short, but
on his driver’s license you can see his feet. But he was a little man and the people
were blocking his view. So Zaccheus runs ahead, climbs up into a sycamore tree
and that is where Jesus called him down from when He was passing by. But why
was Zacchaeus, as our scripture tells us, “trying to see who Jesus was....”? Let’s go
back a couple of months.
Imagine Zacchaeus is out collecting the taxes:
He comes to a blind man’s house, his roster says the man’s name is Bartimaeus.
Zach says, “I’m here for the taxes!” Bartimaeus pleads with him, “I am just a poor
old blind man. I have to beg just to survive. I don’t have money for taxes.” Zach
doesn’t care and gives him 30 days to come up with the money for taxes!
At the next house, a lady comes to the door. Zach demands the taxes they owe. The
lady pleads to Zach, "Sir, my husband is a demon possessed man! He lives in the
tombs - He runs around all crazy, screaming and hollering! Please give me more
time to get the money!” Not really knowing why, he gives her 30 days to come up
with the tax money.
At the third house, Zach demands the taxes from another lady. She explains to him
that her son has died, and the burial expense has wiped her out! She begs him to
give her more time & again, not really knowing why, Zach says, "I’ll be back in 30
Well, those thirty days pass and Zacchaeus is out knocking on doors again. He goes
back to that first house where blind Bartimaeus lived and a bright-eyed man answers
the door. Ol’ Zach can’t believe it! This guy looked a whole lot different than
before! Zach says, "I don’t understand, I thought you were blind!" Bartimaeus tells
our buddy Zach about how he met Jesus and how Jesus healed him! Bartimaeus
says, "I sold my seeing eye dog, all my books on tape, my Braille pads, and here’s
the money I owe you for taxes!" Zach walks away scratching his head wondering
who this Jesus guy is!
Thinking about this turn of events, he heads to the second house. At his knock a big,
well dressed man answers the door! Zach says, "I’m the tax collector, who are
you?" He said, "I’m the man who was demon-possessed, my wife told me you
came by. I met Jesus a few weeks ago and He saved me and cleaned me up! Now I
have a job with the city making good money, so here’s what we owe you for taxes!"
Old Zach can’t believe what he’s hearing! "Who is this Jesus?" he asked himself!
Zacchaeus sits on a rock and ponders this awhile, then heads over to the third house
where a young man answers the door! Zach tells him he’s here to collect the taxes
owed. The young man says, “Oh, that’s right, my mom said you’d be back.” He
calls his mom who tells Zach, "You’re not gonna believe it! They were carrying my
son in a casket to the graveyard. They were almost to the grave when Jesus showed
up. He touched the casket and said, Young man, Arise! My son sat straight up in the
casket and started talking. It scared the undertaker so bad, He gave me all my
money back for the funeral, and here is the money I owe you for taxes!"
So now Zacchaeus has collected all of the tax money. But he is amazed at these turn
of events. He wonders: How does a blind man see? And that man freed from the
demons. A boy raised from the dead. That’s unbelievable! Then Zacchaeus hears
that Jesus is coming through Jericho and he decides, “I’ve got to see this guy who
did all these amazing things.” So he climbs a tree. And that’s where Jesus called
him down from when He was passing by.
Zacchaeus stands up and makes the bold announcement that he is going to give half
of his possessions to the poor, and for all those he cheated, he is going to pay them
back - not just the full amount, but four times the amount. I’ll tell you what,