6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Isn’t it time that we come down, humble ourselves before Jesus, and accept his offer to become our house guest like Zaccheus did?


Luke 19:1-10

There was a man in the city of Jericho that must have been a lonely man. He wasn’t popular at all, in fact most of those who knew him, and nearly everyone in the city did, would have nothing to do with him. He was looked upon as a traitor to his fellowmen and as a collaborator with the enemy.

The biggest problem that he had was that he had no integrity at all. His life was spent pursuing only one goal – to make his life as comfortable as he could, and to be a survivor. He didn’t care whom he hurt in the process, and he trusted no one. In turn, no one had any feelings of affection for him and most literally hated him for all the pain that he brought to his own people.

Do you know anyone like that?

During WWII there were many who would do whatever it took to survive, even if it meant collaborating with the enemy. Sometimes they would do whatever the Germans wanted in order to keep a semblance of normal life, but they would quickly change sides if the Germans were driven out of town. The problem was that there were many people who refused to do the bidding of the German Army, no matter what the cost. These people had integrity and conviction, and they knew that they would never surrender their freedom and never sell out to the enemy of their nation.

Many of those who remained steadfast in their opposition to the Germans suffered untold agony and many were transported to labor camps and death camps and were never seen again. They chose to give their lives for the cause of freedom rather than to live comfortably under the boot heel of tyranny.

More recently, I will never forget, and honestly I still have a hard time forgetting the fact that, while 58,000 American soldiers were giving their lives in the jungles of Vietnam, and something like 3000 of them were suffering depravation and torture in the prison camps of North Vietnam, there were collaborators that traveled halfway around the world, voluntarily, to support our enemy.

One of the most notorious, Jane Fonda, claims to have become a Christian, and for the sake of her soul, I hope that’s true, but I still refuse to watch her in a movie, or to hear anything she has to say, because for me personally, and for millions of men and women who did their duty, and especially for those 58,000 men and women who will never have the chance to live life to its fullest, what she did deserved the highest punishment that we can give.

There have been a lot of people, throughout history, who were traitors and collaborators with our enemies, and they have either been sentenced to long years in prison, or they have paid for their crimes with their lives. To me there is no excuse for being a traitor, and no amount of repentance, and no excuse can ever repay the damage that is done to those who suffer even more than necessary because of the traitor’s actions.

Zaccheus was in the same category as these traitors. He had sold out to the conquering army of Rome and not only sided with them, aided and abetted them, but he volunteered eagerly to be the head of their taxation system that continually drained tribute money from his own people. It is no wonder that he was hated and despised by the Jews.

Luke 19:1-4, "And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way."

It is a wonderful thing to know that our God does not always think like we do. Jesus knew that Zaccheus would be in Jericho and he knew that the heart of Zaccheus was prepared for repentance and change. Jesus knows those whose hearts are ready, and who are seeking after truth and righteousness, after all he came into this world to seek and to save those who are lost.

If there is one lost soul, lost in the sea of humanity, anywhere on this earth, that is ready for salvation, I cannot help but believe that somehow, some way, using some willing man or woman of God, that Jesus will find them and give them their chance to see Heaven. God came down in the flesh for one purpose, to die on the cross a horrible and cruel death so that all men could be saved. Why would he then not do whatever it took to reach the soul that is ready for salvation? I believe that God is big enough, loving enough and powerful enough to do whatever it takes to reach the lost, no matter where they are or who they are.

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