Summary: Zacchaeus was a man with everything, yet he was a man with nothing, that is until Jesus impacted his life!
" VIDEO CLIP from FIREPROOF
" SLIDE #1
" We are beginning a new series today entitle, SPRING INTO LIFE.
" In this series, we are going to examine the story of some of the people we find in the New Testament who had encounters with Jesus, and how those encounters changed their lives.
" These people were able to spring into New Life through Jesus.
" It is interesting to note that not everyone who encountered Jesus had a positive life change.
" There were many that Jesus encountered who did not experience new life.
" Today we will look at the story of Zacchaeus. I feel bad for Zacchaeus because the main thing many people who were in church as a youth in the 80's remember that Zacchaeus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he.
" That is so mean!
" We will be in Luke 19:1-10 today, let's begin with verse 1-4.
" SLIDE #2
" Luke 19:1-4 (CSB) - 1 He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 There was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 He was trying to see who Jesus was, but he was not able because of the crowd since he was a short man. 4 So running ahead, he climbed up a sycamore tree to see Jesus, since he was about to pass that way.
" SLIDE #3
I. A person seeking hope.
" I want to start off by giving you a little background concerning Zacchaeus. The text offers up some warning sign pertaining to Zacchaeus, things what would make would offer a glimpse of some of the obstacles this man would face.
" Today when we think of tax collectors, or the IRS, we probably do not have a warm fuzzy feeling come upon us.
" If we are told we are about to be audited by the IRS, we probably are not feeling too well inside.
" The only person I know that probably has fun with an audit is Roger! :
" None the less, Zacchaeus is a tax collector. He is not a collector of the Temple Taxes, but rather, he is an official representative of the Roman Government.
" To make matters worse, Zacchaeus is a Jew, so he is collecting taxes for the Roman Government FROM the nation of Israel.
" Roman would give a defeated country a great deal of latitude so long as they behaved and paid their taxes.
" And, to make matters worse for Zacchaeus, he was a CHIEF tax collector, which meant he oversaw a bunch of other tax collectors.
" Roman demanded a certain amount of taxes from each territory, and people, anything over that amount, the collectors keep for shipping and handling, or their commission.
" There was a great deal of dishonesty that was associated with this practice.
" Zacchaeus was a man who would have been despised by his own people, even if he was honest because Zacchaeus was collecting taxes for Rome.
" So red flag one, Zacchaeus probably felt alone and rejected.
" Then from the text in verse 1, we are told that Zacchaeus was rich!
" Red flag number 2!
" Being rich is not a crime, but Jesus spoke a lot being rich and how that could inhibit one coming to God because they do not think they had the need.
" God does not condemn wealth in itself, but rather the tendency to rely on that wealth rather than God.
" Imagine living a life where you are despised and forsaken.
" Why in the world would a person take the job of being a tax collector for the Roman government?
" MONEY! Zacchaeus most likely gained a great deal of wealth doing the job, I mean if you have money, you have everything, don't you?
" From our Wednesday night Bible Study, here are a few things money cannot buy:
o Money can buy medicine, but not health.
o Money can buy a house, but not a home.
o Money can buy companionship, but not friends.
o Money can buy food, but not an appetite.
o Money can buy a bed, but not sleep.
o Money can buy the good life, but not eternal life.
" Zacchaeus, a man who had it all, yet had nothing. Do you know people who are in that boat?
" So here is a man without hope, yet he finds out Jesus is in town. Maybe he can find what he is looking for in Jesus?
" Many came to Jesus to see if He would perform a miracle, others came out of curiosity, why did Zacchaeus seek to see Jesus?
" I believe he was looking for hope.