Summary: A Palm Sunday sermon; the five short stories in Luke 19 teach us how to properly welcome our King.
Look at This! Your King is Coming to You!
Sometimes children, teens and adults like to make fun of others. Was there something about you that other kids made fun of? [my broken tooth]
Sometimes the teasing crosses the line into bullying. Were you bullied? Did you befriend someone strong to be your rescuer?
In Luke 19, in the first few verses, we meet a man who may have been teased or bullied throughout his life. [Read 19:1-4]
If Zacchaeus was always smaller than the others, he was probably teased, and maybe the victim of bullies.
But he found a way to get his revenge. He found a powerful ally; the Roman government needed tax collectors and it could be a lucrative job…
Zacchaeus rose to “chief tax-collector” so he had other officials under him. He had authority and substantial wealth. He was protected by a strong ally – Rome. It didn’t matter to Zacchaeus that his own people despised him as a traitor. He felt like they’d always despised him anyway. He just found a way to take it to the bank.
He lived and worked in the city of Jericho, about 12 miles to the northwest of Jerusalem. He’d been hearing about a remarkable man who was a great teacher, worked miracles and was so gracious to outcasts and sinners.
Now, Zacchaeus hears this man is coming to his town and he’s eager to get a glimpse of him, much as we like to get close to celebrities. But Zacchaeus got more than he expected.
The Jewish people were also bullied – by Rome. They hoped for a powerful friend – their long-expected Messiah, a king who would come and beat up the bully and give them independence, dignity, prosperity and peace.
The good news is, their Deliverer is arriving. He is Christ Jesus.
Our key verse this morning is; "Bless the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in highest heaven!" (Luke 19:38, NLT)
Our King will arrive at just the right time.
At His first arrival, angels welcomed him… "Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace on earth to all whom God favors." (Luke 2:14, NLT)
Upon His arrival in Jerusalem, His subjects welcomed him, singing from Psalm 118, “Hosanna! O LORD, save us… Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.”
And there will be a day when He comes again. He will be welcomed by the shout and trumpet of the archangel. And every knee will bow in reverence, and every tongue will acknowledge, “Jesus Christ is indeed Lord”, to the glory of God the Father.
In the meantime, the King comes to us in the form of frequent invitations by the Holy Spirit…
• To love Him…
• To worship Him…
• To serve Him…
• To receive Him…
How do we welcome Him?
The stories in Luke 19 teach us.
Let’s get back to story of Zacchaeus. He shows us the first of five ways to welcome our King.
First, welcome Him personally with a changed life.
We left Zacchaeus in a tree waiting for Jesus.
When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus & called him by name. "Zacchaeus!" he said. "Quick, come down! For I must be a guest in your home today." Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.
But the people were displeased and grumbled, "He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner." (Luke 19:5-7)
Do you ever feel a little disappointed that the Lord is good to people you don’t think deserve it? That’s the nature of grace; it is not deserved. Be glad; otherwise you wouldn’t get it either. None of us deserve His kindness.
The next verse tells us something remarkable.
Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have overcharged people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!" (Luke 19:8)
Here’s where Zacchaeus shows us how to welcome our King.
First, he believed in Jesus as Messiah/Savior, as his Lord/King. How do I know that? The passage doesn’t say that he believed. Well, yes, it does. Look at verse 9; Jesus responded, "Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a son of Abraham. And I, the Son of Man, have come to seek and save those like him who are lost." (Luke 19:9-10, NLT)
Jesus and the biblical writers do not contradict each other. Paul wrote in Gal 3:6-7, "’Abraham believed God, so God declared him righteous because of his faith.’ Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.”
The NT teaches salvation…