Summary: This message examines the shocking action of Jesus, when he reached out to Zacchaeus. Application is made to today, noting that Jesus still reaches out to sinners today.
INTRODUCTION TO SERIES
* The “Most-Shocking” video genre (i.e., Top 20 Most Shocking Boozers and Losers; Most Shocking Fights and Wild Riots; etc.)
* A different kind of “most-shocking” action: the life and ministry of Jesus Christ
- Christ did things that shocked those who saw him
- Christ said things that normal (even the religious) people did not do
* Some of Jesus’ shocking actions/statements put him in opposition to others (i.e., Sadducees and Pharisees over his claim to be God’s Son)
* This series will look at few of the things Jesus said and did that shocked the people around him
INTRODUCTION TO SERMON
* One of Jesus’ shocking actions: he reached out to sinners
- such an action was indeed shocking = note verse 7
- it was shocking because the Law mandated that God could not be approached by just anyone
* Jesus reaching out to sinners introduced a concept that many who loved the Law could not get grasp...GRACE
* Zacchaeus is a familiar story: don’t miss the point of this meeting between him and Jesus
* The people surrounding Jesus were shocked that someone who claimed to be God would reach out to sinners
* The meeting between these two men reveals to us exactly why Jesus would want to (and would actually) reach out to sinners...
1. Jesus reached out because he saw a sinner who was lost (v. 1-4)
* When Jesus sees a need, he does what he can do to meet that need
* Zacchaeus had a great need - salvation; Jesus began to meet that need by reaching out to him
* Why did Zacchaeus need Jesus to reach out to him?
A. As a sinner, he didn’t measure up.
- not only small physically, but small spiritually, as are we
- Romans 3:23 - “fall short of the glory of God”
- sin: to miss the mark
B. As a sinner, something was missing from his life.
- he was missing Christ, salvation, righteousness, etc.
- because of what was missing, he was “lost” (perishing/destroyed)
- without Christ, something will always be missing from our lives
C. As a sinner, he was seeking.
- Zacchaeus is where he is in the first place because he is seeking to fill the void in his heart
- those who are lost today need to seek
2. Jesus reached out because he is a Savior who is loving (v. 5-7)
* The very nature of Jesus causes him to reach out to sinners: his nature is love
* The love of Christ for all sinners is seen in his encounter with Zacchaeus...
A. The love of Christ is seen in his seeking
- wasn’t just Zacchaeus that was looking for Jesus, but Jesus was also looking for Zacchaeus
- note verse 5a: God takes the initiative!
B. The love of Christ is seen in his compassion
- compassion caused Jesus to issue his invitation to Zacchaeus
- compassion: Jesus not only saw his need, but was moved to meet that need
- Christ has that same compassion today: Revelation 3:20
C. The love of Christ is seen in his actions
- the actions of Christ get a reaction from the people (v. 7)
- the actions in the life and death of Christ reveal his love because (1) he stood in the presence of sinners and (2) he suffered in the place of sinner
- Christ stands ready to forgive sin today = 2 Cor. 5:21
3. Jesus reached out because his salvation is powerful (v. 8-10)
A. Salvation is powerful because it includes repentance
- the change in Zacchaeus’ life occurred because of repentance
- what repentance means...
B. Salvation is powerful because it affects behavior
- because of the change on the inside, what Zacchaeus did on the outside was also changed
- faith in Christ that does not change behavior isn’t biblical faith (see James 2:14-17)
- our behavior does not cause our salvation; our salvation causes our behavior (Eph. 2:10)
C. Salvation is powerful because of who it’s for
- verse 10: the purpose of Christ is to provide salvation for those who are lost
- God is still looking for a modern-day Zacchaeus
Zacchaeus experienced four stages in his process...
1. He was curious about Christ
2. He considered the person of Christ
3. He was converted by the power of Christ
4. He was changed because of the salvation he experienced
- What stage are YOU in?